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Thread: Kinnikinnik and fat spoilage

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    Senior Member bulrush's Avatar
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    Default Kinnikinnik and fat spoilage

    I think kinnikinnik and pemmican are made with large amounts of animal fat, and meat pieces. How come the animal fat doesn't spoil and get rancid at room temperature? I know corn and olive oil spoils.


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    Quote Originally Posted by bulrush View Post
    I think kinnikinnik and pemmican are made with large amounts of animal fat, and meat pieces. How come the animal fat doesn't spoil and get rancid at room temperature? I know corn and olive oil spoils.
    I've wondered the same thing. Maybe the rendering process prior to adding it to the other ingredients?
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    missing in action trax's Avatar
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    kinnikinnick is a plant. Pemmican is made with, traditionally bison, fat. The word pimic (peemeek) in Cree means fat or lard. It's pounded into an almost powdery, flaky kind of texture, mixed with berries and dried meat and wrapped in hide for storage. I'm not definite on the room temperature storage, but when buried, the stuff stored for literally years without spoilage. I don't know why it didn't spoil but it's storage characteristics are one of the things that made it so important for people in the 18th and 19th centuries traveling the trade routes. Takes a while to get say, from Montreal to Winnipeg, and paddlers get hungry.
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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    I was searching for a reason the fat in pemmican doesn't rot (danged if I know) and ran across this:

    Pemmican could be broken from a large chunk and eaten. Sometimes it was made into a stew called rubbaboo. A mixture of flour, water, and maple sugar was boiled in a large kettle. To this were added chunks of pemmican. After this cooked for a while it formed a porridge-type stew which was a welcome break from the plain pemmican.

    Source:

    http://www.whiteoak.org/learning/food.htm

    That's the first I've heard of pemmican stew or porridge.

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    missing in action trax's Avatar
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    I was going to mention the stew/porridge combinations. My guess is that the recipe was a little less formal and a lot more based on what the people had on hand at the time. Many travelers had hardened maple sugar candy which would be the sweetener. The berries used were whatever was available, but I am most cognizant of blueberries and saskatoons in pemmican.
    some fella confronted me the other day and asked "What's your problem?" So I told him, "I don't have a problem I am a problem"

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    I think bulrush asked a very good question. If you set suet out on a table I am sure it would spoil in no time. Yet I have no idea why it lasts as long as it does when made into pemmican. Maybe someone has an answer. I did a quick search and didn't find anything.

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    Senior Member bulrush's Avatar
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    Maybe there is a lot of salt in it. I have heard (from Foxfire) the oldtimers used to store meat in 8-10g crocks, and cover the top with warm fat. And it kept for months. I also remember that Crisco (animal lard) is not stored in the fridge. It would keep for about 2 years before it would smell "off" (that is, when we used Crisco, we don't anymore).

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    reclinite automaton canid's Avatar
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    the acid content combined with the low moisture help will bacteria and th low moisture is all it takes to keep most fungi at bay.
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    I dont' use a lot of salt in making my jerky. So I don't think that's it. And Crisco is made from vegetable oil and has no animal products in it. It's considered kosher and vegan safe.

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    reclinite automaton canid's Avatar
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    helooo?
    lower PH [acidic conditions] inhibit the growth of anaerobic bacteria in preserved food.
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    Helooo? I was typing while you posted. Sheeesh. Give me a break, I'm old.

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    reclinite automaton canid's Avatar
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    ok, but next time...
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    missing in action trax's Avatar
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    makes sense, acidic content from the berries....
    some fella confronted me the other day and asked "What's your problem?" So I told him, "I don't have a problem I am a problem"

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    reclinite automaton canid's Avatar
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    yep, that's why wild cranberries stay fresh even weeks after falling into nasty bog water. take them out and let them dry of a bit, how long they keep? molds and aerobic bacteria go to work right away and they don't keep a week before they start goin' south.
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    I've noticed that when I wipe cast iron skillets with a little vegetable oil after washing they can get a rancid flavor when you pull them out of the cubbard and cook with them. I now only use lard for this purpose and never get a rancid flavor.

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    Chemically, vegetable and animal oils and fats are triglycerides, glycerol bound to three fatty acids. Animal fat such as tallow or lard is saturated, meaning that in the fatty acid portion, all the carbon atoms are bound to two hydrogen atoms, and there are no double bonds. This allows the chains of fatty acids to be straighter and more pliable so they harden at higher temperatures (that's why lard is a solid).

    These fats resist rancidity and are solid or semi-solid at room temperature. These fats are great to cook with because they can stand the stress of high heat without going rancid. Examples of saturated fats are butter, beef tallow, coconut oil and palm oil.

    Monounsaturated fats contain one double bond between the carbon atoms. They are relatively stable- more stable than polyunsaturated fats, but less stable than saturated fats. They are liquid at room temperature and solid if put in the refrigerator. They can be used to cook with at low to moderate heats. Olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil and high oleic safflower oil are examples of monounsaturated fats.

    Polyunsaturated fats are unstable and highly reactive because they have multiple double bonds between their carbon atoms. They are liquid at room temperature and in the refrigerator. Due to their unstable nature, they should never be used to cook with. They easily go rancid when exposed to heat and light. Most vegetable oils are classified as polyunsaturated oils; examples are corn, cottonseed, safflower, soybean and sunflower oil.

    A damaged fat is any fat that is rancid, refined or hydrogenated (trans fat). Saturated, monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats can all be damaged. Damaged fats have been altered from their true form in nature and transformed into fats that the body cannot effectively utilize. Saturated fats are least likely to be damaged because of their stable nature, unless they have been hydrogenated.

    Various sources.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    I thought that you smoked kinnikinnik and ate pemmican?
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    so toss extra hydrogen in there and you get rancidity... like meat bits. I read a bit about clarifying tallow and it points out in "Back to Basics" that sometimes vinegar was added to help stabilize the fats for soap and to remove any smells. I'd have to figure out exactly what the vinegar does, but if you wanna toss it around..
    Which fat category does brain fall into? It's a lipid, much like soy. Interesting stuff there Rick.
    Mostly I don't think pemmican lasted any real duration. It was probably all eaten long before it would spoil :P
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    I have some filtered bacon grease that has been sitting on my counter for probably three months. I'm using it as an oil for a small oil candle I made. But the fat seems to be perfectly fine. At least it doesn't show any signs of mold or mildew or anything like that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bulrush View Post
    Maybe there is a lot of salt in it. I have heard (from Foxfire) the oldtimers used to store meat in 8-10g crocks, and cover the top with warm fat. And it kept for months. I also remember that Crisco (animal lard) is not stored in the fridge. It would keep for about 2 years before it would smell "off" (that is, when we used Crisco, we don't anymore).
    A guy I know who came here from Europe, can't remember where in Europe, said his parents would store meat in vats of lard completely submerged and it lasted a long, long time.

    maybe they just didn't mind the rancid taste????

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