- An Indian food made from jerked meat or dried meat pounded to a powder
and mixed with melted fat. The word is from the Cree pimikan,
meaning "manufactured grease."
Stored in parfleche bags and kept dry,
this food could be preserved for several years. Some Indians mixed
berries with the dried meat and fat. Others made pemmican from powdered
dried fish, which was mixed with sturgeon oil.
Indians carried pemmican on long overland
trips and also depended on it during seasons when game was scarce.
Early trappers and frontiersmen made a soup from it called robbiboe.
Peter Pond, a Connecticut Yankee, is said
to have learned to make and use pemmican from Indians he met as one of
the traders of the North West Fur Company. It was after spending
the winter of 1788-1789 with old Peter Pond, that Sir Alexander Mackenzie,
the Scottish explorer, using pemmican as a food, went northward to the
Arctic Ocean, traveling the river which now bears his name.
Admiral Robert E. Peary took along pemmican
on his trek, to the North pole in april of 1909. It was the same
as Indian pemmican, except that he mixed in dried raisins instead of berries.
Peary said this was the only food a man could eat twice a day for 365 days
and still relish it to last mouthful.
within this Site
][ Food ][ Jerked
Meat ][ Mortar ][ Parfleche
][ Robbiboe ]