Tanka Bar

I found this near the checkout of the Whole Grocer in Jackson WY.

Tanka Bar
Tanka Bar

At the top it says “From the traditions of Native American peoples”

Talk about marketing in action. I’m no anthropologist, but I don’t think that Cranberries and Buffalo ever existed in the same place. When was the last time you saw mention of the Bufallo in Cape Cod? Or the Cranberry bogs of the Great Plains?

How’d it taste? like a bar of semi-dried salty beef, with tastless fruit pieces in it.

That said, it has no terrible chemicals in it, and 7g protein, so not a bad thing to reach for if you need a snack.

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10 thoughts on “Tanka Bar

  1. I can’t believe you tried it. You’re braver than I am. Wait, that might be a way to get my husband to eat fruit and veg – just make Buffalo jerky and he’ll eat it!

    Just read that you’re one of the fastest growing sites on WordPress. Congrats. Mine should have been on there but it’s a hybrid.

    Lived in Brooklyn for a year and would come back but am a TX gal for right now. Come visit http://www.cookingwithdee.net. Y’all have a great weekend now. Dee

  2. Hi, my name is Mark Kenneth and I’m the Editor of the Tanka Bar MySpace page. I want to thank you for noticing our marketing and giving Tanka Bar a mention on your blog. We have done our best to represent ourselves and our company in the most honest way possible. We are a Native-owned and operated natural foods company based right here on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. I’m actually writing to you from our little town of Kyle, South Dakota.

    We based the Tanka Bar on our traditional Lakota recipe for wasna (wah snah), which is made with pounded choke cherries and sun dried strips of buffalo meat mixed together. We found a lot of our Lakota youth didn’t like the strong tart taste of the choke cherries and right now there are no commercial producers of choke cherries available to us. We needed to make a snack that was healthy and that our young people would eat, so we began our search for an alternative.

    We actually found that the Ho-Chunk natives, known as Winnebago, to the east of us in Wisconsin have been using cranberries and buffalo for just as long as we Lakota have been using choke cherries! It’s a modern take on an ancient food.

    I’d like to invite you join our MySpace and see what our friends and customers are visiting with us about. You can reach our page at: http://www.myspace.com/TankaBar.

    Thank you for writing about us and if you’d like to give Tanka Bar another chance, just let me know. Pilamaya

  3. Hey I tried the Tanka Bar yesterday and found it very palatable, easily chewable & digestible! Native people surely have a winner with this tried & true recipe! It’ll come in handy for a quick protein packed snack especially while on the go. I have absolutely no regrets in buying this product and I will be sure to keep this staple on hand in my pantry! Pilamaya!

  4. I think Tanka Bar is a great protein packed energy bar that will give you a lift whether in the city or country. It is excellent for your body! First Nations people rock! Give Indigenous people (and people in general) the respect that they deserve. Maybe the Brooklyn Kitchen should check out some readings such as “Where White Men Fear to Tread” by Russell Means. Russell was in the late 90’s movie Last of the Mohicans. This movie is somewhat historically inaccurate but Russell gives an excellent performance. Also, check out Tribal Museums in your area. The Museum of the American Indian is a local museum that you might visit.

  5. WOW. I didn’t realize that there were cranberries and Buffalo in the same area. Thanks Mark for writing.

    I would love to try it with Choke Cherries, as I found the cranberry lost in the mix.

    When compared to all the additives in other “energy” bars, the Tanka has no additives and is all natural.

    I’d love to try the recipe myself, either with Buffalo or Grass-fed beef.

    Mark, any chance I could get my hands on it?

    I have no intent of starting a bar company, but we are committed to natural, sustainable, and delicious recipes here at the BKK.

  6. Elizabeth,
    I mean no disrespect to any native people American or otherwise.
    I picked this up at a grocery checkout as an impulse buy of a food I’d never had.
    I endeavor to try any food from any people that I can get my hands on.
    Having just finished reading Michael Pollan’s “In Defense of Food” I’m acutely aware that indigenous diets everywhere are far more healthy than what we’ve been taught to eat in this country my entire life.
    I appreciate all native foods, and I guess I was too quick to let my cynical side think it was just a marketing ploy (Which it obviously is not!) as so many things related to “organic” or “natural” have become.

    I apologize if I offended any Native Americans, my intent was merely to review a food that caught my eye.

  7. Actually for such a simple dish the process for making it is surprisingly complex. Our CEO Karlene Hunter wrote an article about it for Repast Magazine in April. I could email you the article or post it here where others could see it. Let me know, Mark Kenneth.

  8. Dear Harry,
    I understand where you are coming from now and it was nice that you commented back.Most people don’t. You seem like a nice guy just trying out food. But when you make comments about things I would just try to research them more and be more respectful. Respect is an important piece of all cultures and in First Nation cultures respect is very important. I have some restaurants that you might want to try out when you are traveling. Eileen’s Cakes and Pastries in Kahnawake, Quebec and The Bear’s Den in Hogansburgh, New York. Both of these restaurants are owned and operated by First Nations people located on the Kahnawake Mohawk Reserve and the Akwesasne St.Regis Mohawk Reserve. On Sundays in Kahnawake the corn bread is to die for at Eileen’s. Also, while you are there you should visit the museums they offer on the reserve and take in some history. I am glad that we learned from each other during this blog. Also, I hope that you enjoy more Tanka Bars as I will and I hope that you research more indigenous foods. There is a man named Professor Frederick Wiseman who has been researching indigenous food in Vermont, N.H. and Maine. He is part of the Abenaki nation and has researched the different corn,beans and squash in these areas. You might look him up as he works for Johnson State College in Johnson, Vermont. Hope you have a good day and happy eating!

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