Pemmican (child)

„Pemmican in Antarctica is one of the two foods that Antarctic exploration was built on, (the other is sledging biscuits). Pemmican was used as a sledging food when travelling away from the main base and camping in sub zero (often very sub zero) temperatures. It is a highly condensed form of food made from dried and ground meat mixed with a similar weight of fat, a small amount provides a lot of energy, it is almost entirely protein and fat with very little carbohydrate. These days in Antarctica pemmican has been replaced by freeze dried meat for use when camping, this recipe attempts to create the kind of pemmican that the early explorers of Antarctica would have had. In the early days of Antarctic exploration, pemmican was used to make hoosh along with sledging biscuits and snow.

Pemmican has it’s origins with the native peoples of North America usually being attributed to the Cree in particular who lived and still live in the cold northern regions of the continent mainly in Canada. It is an ingenious way of preserving meat in large amounts in a condensed form for many months without canning, freezing or similar means that require technological or industrial scale equipment.

The qualities of high nutritional density, being long lasting and being physically resilient along with ease and speed of cooking (more of that later) or able to just be eaten cold as it is made it an ideal foodstuff for the early Antarctic explorers to use away from base.

There are a lot of recipes online for pemmican, it seems to have recently achieved a bit of a celebrity status due to the “Paleo diet”. The original recipes would include dried berries, though this wasn’t the case with the kind of pemmican that made it down to the Antarctic. The last Antarctic pemmican I had was made from the reindeer herd that used to live on South Georgia.

This is the first time I made pemmican, I’m not claiming to be any kind of expert, just recording my experience from a different perspective to the usual.”

According to

Pemmican (child)


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