Mountain Man // December 2013 Mantry

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Before man exchanged coonskin caps and buckskins for Xbox and the snuggie, traders, trappers and sap tappers wandered the woods of America in search of their next meal. Mantry explores the nation to uncover six staples inspired by our rugged forefathers.

Mikuni Wild Harvest // Bourbon Barrel Matured Maple Syrup // Quebec, CAN

For many a self respecting woodsman, packing whiskey and maple syrup was as essential as a bushy beard and body odor. Maker Tyler Gray brings these two burly staples together to create barrel aged greatness. He begins with procuring the highest quality Maple syrup from heritage sugar shacks in the ancient maple orchards of Quebec. The syrup is then matured in charred American oak barrels from Tuthilltown Distillery (New York’s first whiskey distillery since the age of Prohibition) and finished off with a nip of fine Tuthilltown bourbon.

Buttermilk Pancakes // Dancing Deer Co. // Boston, MA

Trust us, nothing will silence your extended family during the holidays like a stack of syrup soaked flapjacks. Helping you recreate the serenity of nature around the breakfast table, Dancing Deer’s old fashioned buttermilk recipe reminds us the only thing light and fluffy about early pioneers were their pancakes.

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Juniper Ridge // Douglas Fir Spring Tip Tea // Sierra Nevada, California

Typically, if you discover a bearded guy distilling in a van in the woods, you’re probably going to go blind if you sip whatever he’s drinking, the exception is Juniper Ridge. Next to crafting award winning wild fragrances year round, Juniper also harvests Douglas Fir Tips once a year, every Spring. When steeped for ten minutes, the precise timing results in a drink with a subtle citrusy, forest aroma that was historically the primary source of vitamin C for local Native Americans. Need a go-to holiday cocktail? We got you covered with our Dougas Fir Gin & Soda (Visit Mantry.com/recipe).

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Vermont Smoke & Cure // Pepperoni // Hinesburg, Vermont

With origins in a 250 year old woodland town literally chiseled from stone (immigrant Italian granite workers built the community) Vermont Smoke & Cure’s pepperoni recipe was able to satisfy some lofty expectations. Using age old techniques (Like smoking over corn cobs and maple wood) along with all natural ingredients the 50 year old smokehouse churns out Pepperoni that belongs more on a charcuterie plate rather than jammed beside a piece of cheddar at the gas station.

Real Steak Jerky // Chipotle Cracked Pepper // Naples, FL

Indigenous people helped tip off early european settlers on jerky, after pioneers recognized the need for a protein fuel that could be readily available during exploration.

Fast forward a couple centuries and two golfing buddies, Dennis Riedel and Blair Swiler finally decided to apply their natural tendency to slice to pieces of choice USDA meat. Unlike almost any other Jerky makers around, the two opt to use premium flank steak, marinating it in Chipotle (smoked jalapenos) and fresh cracked pepper. The result is a tender jerky that breaks away from the pack and makes a solid companion for another wilderness essential….beer.

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Dragon’s Blood Elixir // Dragon’s Blood Elixir // Woodstock, Connecticut

Historically traded as potions to “cure one’s ills and prolong life” elixirs were all the rage for pioneers of the past. Although sauce boss Doug can’t confirm life altering health benefits, his concoction of of connecticut apples and habaneros is a cure-all for flavorless foods. Details Magazine even called it one of the “Best Undiscovered Hot Sauces in America”. For the big game, try benching Frank’s and mixing Dragon’s blood with a knob of melted butter to coat some wings (recipe: Mantry.com).

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December 2013 Mantry | Mountain Man

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