What’s Jerked Meat?

Jerked meat is what the Midwestern Pioneers used to call Indian preserved meat. The Native Americans of the plains cut their deer and buffalo meat into thin strips and let it dry in the sun. The Pioneers referred to it as jerked meat. Native Americans had another interesting way of preserving meat and that was called pemican. Lean meat was dried and pounded very finely before being packed into sacks of hide. Dried and pounded meat was also mixed with suet (fat), sugar, raisins or berries and used by both Indians and explorers, probably French-Canadian trappers and traders, as the word pemican is both a Cree Indian word, pemikkan, and a French word for fat, pimiy. It was a successful way of preserving meat, and with the addition of the fat and fruit, was an early “energy bar.”  Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

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