I'm relatively new to Paleo life and am having relatively little pain in making the adjustments from my former (already pretty low-carb) way of eating.
That said, I am having a hard time wrapping my palate around pemmican, at least the US Wellness Meats product which I judged to be paleo-kosher. I've ordered both kinds they have (with and without cherries and honey) but have only tried the low-carb pemmy so far.
Frankly, it's like chewing on a soft beef-flavored candle. (And not in a good way.) With their minimum order requirement, I did order quite a bit of the stuff from US Wellness and am making my way through it but I can't help wondering if anyone has thoughts on how to use pemmican as part of some other dish or project (short of threading a wick through it and using it as some kind of paleo aromatherapy light).
Otherwise, I will continue hoping the taste will grow on me. I really want to like the stuff - it keeps my energy pretty even and is a great emergency snack other than the mouth feel. My lifestyle doesn't permit me to take the time to make my own right now, unfortunately.
Thanks in advance for your comments.
asked byJennie (539)
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on June 02, 2010
at 12:29 AM
I ordered pemmican from US Wellness Meats once. My experience was exactly the same as yours: ick, this is pemmican?! Why do people like this?! That was enough. It tasted just wrong.
Then I made my own, and I've never looked backed. It's still a beef candle, but it lacks the offensiveness of the stuff I got online. I know you say your lifestyle prevents you from making your own, but give Lex Rooker's manual a look. His dehydrator is dead simple to make and costs $10, and takes up maybe 2 feet of floor space: http://www.traditionaltx.us/images/PEMMICAN.pdf
You might be able to pull it off if you give it a shot!
1) The US Wellness Meats lean beef is dried at high temperatures. This cooks it, which they have to do to be in compliance with federal food regulations. Real pemmican is made with raw dried beef, which preserves the beefy flavor and supposedly the nutrients necessary to make it capable of sustaining you indefinitely.
2) Their tallow might not be fully rendered, or is otherwise damaged in the rendering. The pemmican bar I got turned into sludge while a pemmican bar I made stayed fairly hard. This indicates that the fat they were using was less saturated or maybe less rendered (more water). For mine, I use suet - they may mix in other fats.
3) Real pemmican is supposed to last indefinitely if protected from water. They say you have to eat theirs in three weeks. That's a big red flag: they're not making it right. This may be for economic reasons (expensive to fully render fat) or for legal reasons (they can't sell raw beef), but the reality is that it's not the real thing anymore if it can't survive for months in an airtight container.
I have some I made in November that I ate for lunch the other day. It looked exactly the way it had the day after I made it. I wrapped it in tinfoil and it's been sitting on top of the fridge since then. I should buy a Wellness Meats bar and see how long it lasts before it goes bad.
4) Taste is incomparably better. This is not to say it tastes good in any traditional sense, but it is unoffensive. My experience with eating it is that the first bite is weird, it grows on you for the second through fifth bites, and then after that you're hungry and munching away. Then the bar is gone and you want more!
5) Make the real stuff if only for the hilarious effect it will have on friends and family. A friend of mine took a bar, went home, and then forced his entire family to try a bite while he physically prevented them from running to the sink or the garbage can to spit it out. His father apparently downed it without trouble while everyone else freaked out. Good stuff!
on June 02, 2010
at 01:17 AM
I didn't like them at first either (US Wellness cherry and honey free version), but the taste has actually grown on me. My 2 year old son would see me eat them, ask for some, and he's grown to like them too :)
I've read Lex Rooker's guide and would love to give it a try, but just can't make the investment in time or floor space.
on July 12, 2010
at 11:25 PM
This pemmican is only good warmed up and eaten with a spoon. They do not take all of the water out of the meat, so that's why it is like mush and will go moldy if not frozen.
on June 02, 2010
at 02:06 AM
Ordered a box of that stuff about 5 years ago and ended up throwing most of it away as it was revolting. Eating grim meals that are "good for me" just ain't my thing.
on June 02, 2010
at 12:38 AM
Yeah, luckily I just ordered one stick of that stuff. I managed to choke about half of it down over time but yeah, beef-flavored candle is a very apt comparison. Yech.
on April 05, 2016
at 03:39 PM
Late reply here, but if people are still looking for real pemmican check out realpemmican dot com. US Wellness leave some water in their meat to keep the grinder from over heating, though I'm sure there are other ways around that issue ;) There are a few tricks to making it taste really good and still keep it "real"!
on October 19, 2011
at 05:41 PM
I'm totally addicted now to U.S. Wellness Meat's Pemmican. I buy them by the box! I like the plain variety. I find that having the plain variety (with salt) helps in keeping its texture. The kind without salt goes great with fried eggs--having this one plain and not warmed up doesn't work for me. I'm on the waiting list for more as they are now out of stock!