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Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Captain Meriwether Lewis and also Lieutenant william Clark, far better known as Lewis and Clark, led one of the most famous expeditions in American history. I was delegated by President thomas Jefferson, the Corps of exploration Expedition was one of the faster exploratory goals to the Pacific Coast. Though its main purpose was to discover a direct water path to the Pacific Ocean, chairman Jefferson also wanted the journey to focus on the financial usefulness of various regions, an especially in regards to plant and also animal life. On may 14, 1804, along with 31 other men, Lewis and also Clark collection out to do precisely that. It was a long, treacherous expedition by water and on foot across a large unknown wilderness. Keeping the expedition members healthy and also well-fed to be obviously a pressing concern. This epos mission had actually a wild, strange and also often how amazing menu.

The trek started with training in ~ Camp Dubois near Hartford, Illinois and ended at ft Clatsop near what is now Astoria, Oregon. Traveling throughout this substantial distance forced a the majority of preparations. Lewis and Clark had to think ahead and plan because that times once wild game would it is in unavailable or in short supply. Your keelboat was stocked with nearly 7 lots of dry goods, including flour, salt, coffee, pork, meal, corn, sugar, beans and also lard. Around 93 lbs of portable soup, a concoction the was boiled until gelatinous and also then left to dry until hard, was also brought along. This to be hardly a favourite meal, however it saved the guys from famine on more than one occasion.

Captain Clark and his guys shooting Bears. Source: Library the Congress.

To know how difficult and physical demanding the Corps of discovery Expedition was, you require only look in ~ the quantity of food lock consumed. On July 13, 1805, Clark wrote: “We eat one emensity of meat; it calls for 4 deer, or one elk and also a deer, or one buffaloe to supply united state plentifully 24 hours.” once wild game was plentiful, each guy consumed as much as 9 pounds of meat in one day. That’s a most protein! Meat was an essential to your diet; it assisted to fill their hungry bellies and also gave lock the strength required to traction canoes and also carry heavy loads. The types of meat the were eaten also served as a have fun of the season, terrain and climate lock encountered. Bison and deer were prominent throughout the cross of the an excellent Plains, while salmon and a starchy tuber recognized as wapato retained them nourished as they entered territory west of the Rocky Mountains. Fish was eaten in abundance, a favourite being the eulachon, or candlefish, i beg your pardon Lewis asserted to be “superior to any fish” the had ever before tasted. At ft Clatsop, elk was in big supply. It was offered boiled, dried and also roasted because that breakfast, lunch and dinner. Throughout their journey, Lewis, Clark and their fellow travelers extracted salt from seawater by way of evaporation with boiling. Salt was supplied as a smell enhancer, yet it was additionally essential in preserving meat; it helped to give their perishable meat supply a longer shelf life.

Captains Lewis and also Clark holding a Council through the Indians. Source: Library of Congress.

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The travelers replenished your food supply through hunting and gathering along the way. Tradable products were carried along to usage as presents in exchange for help from native American tribes. This proved to be a wise decision, and also the native Americans came to be an invaluable source when food to be scarce. The Mandan people of phibìc Dakota detailed squash, beans and corn. The Chinook along Washington’s Columbia River provided them essential, energizing carbohydrates in the starchy wapato. When they got to their final location at ft Clatsop (near modern-day day Astoria, Oregon), the Clatsop people traded berries, wild licorice root and elk. As they pass through modern day phibìc Dakota, French-Canadian hair trapper Toussaint Charbonneau join the exploration with his wife Sacagawea, a young native American mrs from the Shoshone tribe. Sacagawea confirmed a beneficial member that the team. She to be able to determine edible plans and roots the the men had never viewed before, consisting of currants, wild licorice and wild onions.

The men took turns food preparation meals. Oftentimes the available ingredients were new and unfamiliar, forcing the men to obtain creative. ~ above June 5, 1805, their journals disclose that they had actually “burrowing squirrels” because that dinner and also found them “well flavored and also tender.” A couple of times during the journey, lock bartered with indigenous American tribes for dog which were used as a meat source. In ~ one point on the trail, Sacagawea’s husband, Toussaint Charbonneau, made a dish dubbed boudin blanc. This sausage made from stuffed buffalo intestine impression the hungry travelers. Periodically, Lewis rewarded his men with suet dumplings made from boiled buffalo meat. On respectable 14, 1805, in the midst of a food shortage, Lewis recalled a mixture of cooked flour and also berries: “On this new-fashioned pudding four of united state breakfasted, offering a pretty great allowance likewise to the chief who claimed it the ideal thing he had tasted because that a long time.” The food sounds remarkably similar to a pandowdy or cobbler; an outstanding culinary feat in the midst of a harsh trek v the wilderness. Members of the expedition were remarkable resourceful. By the end of the journey, Lewis, Clark and the guys of the exploration had consumed a wide selection of meat, fish, berries, vegetables, fruits and also roots. These straightforward native foods eventually fueled the most famous expedition in U.S. History.