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Encyclopedia > Pemmican

Pemmican is a concentrated food consisting of dried pulverized beef, dried berries, and rendered fat. It was invented by the native peoples of North America, and widely used during the fur trade and later by Arctic and Antarctic explorers such as Robert Falcon Scott and Roald Amundsen as a high-energy food. Pemmican was among the supplies taken by the disastrous Burke and Wills expedition across central Australia. The supply was spoilt and presumably not eaten, a factor leading to the occurrence of scurvy and death among expedition members. Properly packaged, it can be stored for long periods of time. This article is about the people indigenous to the United States. ... An Alberta fur trader in the 1890s. ... The red line indicates the 10°C isotherm in July, commonly used to define the Arctic region border Satellite image of the Arctic surface The Arctic is the region around the Earths North Pole, opposite the Antarctic region around the South Pole. ... Greek ἀνταρκτικός, opposite the arctic) is a continent surrounding the Earths South Pole. ... Scott of the Antarctic redirects here. ... Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen (July 16, 1872 – c. ... Robert OHara Burke by William Strutt William John Wills In 1860-61 Robert OHara Burke and William John Wills led an expedition of 19 men with the intention of crossing Australia from Melbourne in the south to the Gulf of Carpentaria in the north, a distance of around... Scurvy (N.Lat. ...

The specific ingredients used in it were usually whatever was available; the meat was often bison, moose, elk, or deer. Fruits such as cranberries, saskatoon berries were common, though cherries, currants, chokeberries and blueberries were also used, but almost exclusively in ceremonial and wedding pemmican. Species †B. antiquus B. bison B. bonasus †B. latifrons †B. occidentalis †B. priscus Bison is a taxonomic group containing six species of large even-toed ungulates within the subfamily Bovinae. ... For other uses, see Moose (disambiguation). ... This article is about the species of deer. ... This article is about the ruminent animal. ... “Cranberries” redirects here. ... Binomial name Amelanchier alnifolia Nutt. ... For other uses, see Cherry (disambiguation). ... Species Syme whitecurrant L. redcurrant L. blackcurrant L. Eurasian gooseberry North American gooseberry Flowering currant Northern red currant Miccosukee Gooseberry and about 150 others The genus Ribes of flowering plants is the only one placed in the family Grossulariaceae. ... Species Aronia arbutifolia (L.) Pers. ... For other uses, see Blueberry (disambiguation). ...

The highest quality pemmican is made from lean meat and bone marrow fat; the pemmican buyers of the fur trade era had strict specifications. This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Traditional preparation

Traditionally pemmican was prepared from the lean meat of large game animals such as buffalo, elk or deer. The meat was cut in thin slices and dried over a slow fire, or by the hot sun until it was hard and brittle. Then it was pounded into very small pieces, almost powder-like in consistency, using stones. The pounded meat was mixed with melted fat with a ratio of approximately 50% pounded meat and 50% melted fat. In some cases, dried fruits such as saskatoon berries, cranberries, blueberries, or choke cherries were pounded into powder and added to the meat and fat mixture, and packed in "green" rawhide pouches for storage.

The Pemmican Proclamation

To conserve scarce food, in 1814 Governor Miles Macdonell of Assiniboia (or Red River Colony) forbade, in the Pemmican Proclamation, the export of pemmican from his jurisdiction. Pemmican was exported by the M├ętis not only to the Hudson's Bay Company, but also to the North West Company, the HBC's chief competitor that happened to be enjoying better success in the fur trade at the time. The proclamation led to the destruction, twice, of the chief Red River settlement of Fort Douglas by the North West Company, the destruction of the North West Company Fort Gibraltar by the HBC, and to the Battle of Seven Oaks, all in 1816. Year 1814 (MDCCCXIV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar). ... Miles MacDonell (ca. ... Assiniboia refers to a number of different locations and administrative jurisdictions in Canada. ... The Red River Colony (or Selkirk Settlement) was a colonization project set up by Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk in 1811 on 300,000 km² of land granted to him by the Hudsons Bay Company under what is referred to as the Selkirk Concession. ... The Métis (pronounced MAY tee, IPA: , in French or , in Michif ), also historically known as Bois Brule, mixed-bloods, Countryborn (or Anglo-Métis), are one of three recognized Aboriginal peoples in Canada. ... Hudsons Bay Company (HBC; Compagnie de la Baie dHudson in French) is the oldest commercial corporation in North America and is one of the oldest in the world. ... For the grocery chain, see The North West Company The North West Company a fur trading business headquartered in the city of Montreal in British North America from 1779 to 1821. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... In the early 19th century fur-trading was the main industry of Western Canada. ... The Battle of Seven Oaks (known to the Métis as la Victoire de la Grenouillière, or the Victory of Frog Plain) took place on June 19th 1816 during the long dispute between the Hudsons Bay Company and the North West Company, rival fur-trading companies in western...

Dog pemmican

British arctic expeditions fed a type of pemmican to their dogs as "sledging rations". Called "Bovril pemmican" or simply "dog pemmican", it was a beef product consisting of 2/3 protein and 1/3 fat, without carbohydrate. It was later ascertained that although the dogs survived on it, this was not a healthy diet for them, being too high in protein.[1]

Ernest Shackleton's 1914-1916 expedition to the antarctic resorted to eating dog pemmican when they were stranded on ice for the winter.[2] Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton CVO, OBE (15 February 1874 – 5 January 1922) was an Irish explorer who was knighted for the success of the 1907-09 British Antarctic Expedition under his command. ...

Boer War

In Africa, biltong was commonly used in all of its forms, but during the Second Boer War (1899-1902), British troops were given an iron ration made of four ounces of pemmican and four ounces of chocalate and sugar. The pemmican would keep in perfect condition for decades, even in sacks worn smooth by transportation, and thus it was considered much superior to biltong. This iron ration was prepared in two small tins (soldered together) which were fastened inside the soldiers' belts. It was the last ration pulled and it was pulled only when ordered by the commanding officer. On this a man could march thirty-six hours before he began to drop from hunger. The British Army Chief of Scouts, the American Frederick Russell Burnham, made pemmican a manditory item carried by every scout.[3][4] This does not cite any references or sources. ... Combatants British Empire Orange Free State South African Republic Commanders Sir Redvers Buller Lord Kitchener Lord Roberts Paul Kruger Louis Botha Koos de la Rey Martinus Steyn Christiaan de Wet Casualties 6,000 - 7,000 (A further ~14,000 from disease) 6,000 - 8,000 (Unknown number from disease) Civilians... From the Revolutionary War to World War I, the United States army ration, as decreed by the Continental Congress, was the garrison ration which consisted of meat (or salt fish), bread, vegetables and something to drink (which in 1775 was supposed to be milk but which, in practice, could be... Frederick Russell Burnham, DSO (May 11, 1861 – September 1, 1947), was an American scout and world traveling adventurer known for his service to the British Army in colonial Africa and for teaching woodcraft to Robert Baden-Powell, thus becoming one of the inspirations for the founding of the international Scouting...

Modern commercial usage

The brand name Pemmican currently refers to at least two unrelated ranges of food products in the United States. Both are marketed primarily for outdoor enthusiasts:

  • A brand of beef jerky, based in Omaha, Nebraska and owned by ConAgra. Website: http://www.pemmican.com
  • A range of high-energy food bars sold under the brand names MealPack and Bear Valley Pemmican by Intermountain Trading Co. Ltd. in Albany, California. These bars are baked from malted corn and barley (with no meat). Bear Valley Foods was threatened with a lawsuit over the use of the Pemmican name, by a multinational corporation (presumed to be ConAgra); however, they were ultimately allowed to keep the name.

The name Jerky comes from the Quechua term charki, meaning dried meat. ... “Omaha” redirects here. ... ConAgra Foods, Inc. ... The city of Albany highlighted within Alameda County Albany is a city in Alameda County, California, United States. ... ConAgra Foods, Inc. ...


  1. ^ Taylor R.J.F. "The physiology of sledge dogs", Polar Record 8 (55): 317-321 (January 1957), reprinted The Fan Hitch Volume 5, Number 2 (March 2003) [1]
  2. ^ Endurance by Alfred Lansing (McGraw Hill, 1969) Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 58-59666
  3. ^ Stefansson, Vilhjalmur (1946). Not by Bread Alone. New York: MacMillan Company, 263-4, 270. OCLC 989807. 
  4. ^ Burnham, Frederick Russell (1926). Scouting on Two Continents. New York: Doubleday, Page & company. OCLC 407686. 

The Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) was founded in 1967 and originally named the Ohio College Library Center. ... The Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) was founded in 1967 and originally named the Ohio College Library Center. ...

See also

Forcemeat is a mixture of ground, raw or cooked meat, poultry, fish, vegetables or fruit mixed with bread crumbs and seasoning. ... Agutak (aka Eskimo ice cream) is a common food in western Alaska. ... Hoosh was a nickname, supposedly coined by Ernest Shackleton et al, for the one-pot meals generally eaten during early 20th century Antarctic expeditions. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Pemmican Publications - Home (454 words)
Pemmican Publications Inc. is a Metis cultural and educational publishing house established in 1980 by the Manitoba Metis Federation Inc. as a creative and vocational outlet for the Metis people of Manitoba.
Pemmican promotes Metis culture and history through its publications, many of which depict traditional lifestyle, the art of oral storytelling, living in harmony with nature and the environment, and the rich and living heritage of the Metis of the Province of Manitoba.
Pemmican is a cultural and educational publishing house committed to the preservation and promotion of Metis culture and heritage and is celebrating 24 years in the Canadian publishing industry.
Pemmican - Food & Drink - Recipes24 Net - recipes, cooking, cookbooks and more (190 words)
Pemmican is a concentrated food consisting of dried bison, moose, elk, or deer meat, pounded into a powder, and mixed with dried berries and rendered fat.
The very best pemmican was made from lean meat and bone marrow fat.
To conserve scarce food, in 1814 Governor Miles Macdonell of Assiniboia (or Red River Colony) forbade, in the Pemmican Proclamation, the export of pemmican from his jurisdiction.
  More results at FactBites »



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