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Pemmican - 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.

Related Information within this Site
[ Buffalo ][ Food ][ Jerked Meat ][ Mortar ][ Parfleche ][ Robbiboe ]