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Traditionally, North American Plains People (First Nations, Aboriginal, Indians) made pemmican with buffalo meat. The meat was sun-dried, then pulverized into meat dust with a stone maul. The meat dust was mixed with buffalo fat and grease. To add flavour to pemmican, dried fruit such as chokecherries or saskatoon berries were dried and ground up, and added to the mixture. Pemmican was mixed together in a parfleche container and pounded to remove all air from the mix. This pounded mixture, when carefully prepared, would keep in a tight parfleche container for many months.

When white explorers came west in Canada, they traded for pemmican to take with them on their return voyage, as it was the ultimate* high-energy, low-maintenance food.

Pemmican is presently made with beef or ostrich meat, anything red. Most pemmican these days is made for the curiosity seeker, for in the day of refrigerators and supermarkets, there is no real need for such a food anymore.

*for the time