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From Prairie to Plate: Unraveling the Buffalo vs. Bison Jerky Mystery

From Prairie to Plate: Unraveling the Buffalo vs. Bison Jerky Mystery

Ever sunk your teeth into a chewy strip of jerky and wondered, "Is this buffalo or bison?" You're not alone in this meaty confusion. Here at Chalet Market, nestled in the heart of Montana, we've heard this question more times than we can count. So, let's dive into the world of these majestic beasts and their delectable dried meat counterparts.

The Great American Snack Debate

Picture this: You're standing in the snack aisle, eyeing two packages of jerky. One says "buffalo," the other "bison." Are they the same? Different? Does it even matter? Well, folks, it does matter - especially when you're looking for that perfect high-protein, low-fat snack to fuel your Montana adventures.

At Chalet Market, we're not just about selling jerky; we're about educating our community on the rich tapestry of flavors that our local ingredients offer. So, let's chew on this topic and separate fact from fiction.

A Tale of Two Bovines

First things first - despite common belief, buffalo and bison are not the same animal. It's a mix-up that dates back to the early European settlers who, upon seeing the mighty bison roaming the North American plains, called them "buffalo" due to their resemblance to the Asian and African buffalo they were familiar with.

Here's the lowdown:

  • Buffalo: These are found in Africa and Asia. Think water buffalo wallowing in Asian rice paddies or Cape buffalo charging across the African savanna.
  • Bison: These are the North American icons, the shaggy beasts that once thundered across the Great Plains in their millions.

The Bison: America's Unsung Hero

A Symbol of the West

When we talk about "buffalo" jerky in the US, we're almost always talking about bison. These magnificent creatures, with their distinctive humped shoulders and bearded faces, are as American as apple pie - maybe even more so!

At Chalet Market, our jerky is made from 100% North American bison. Why? Because we believe in celebrating local flavors and supporting sustainable practices. Our bison roam free on vast grasslands, much like their ancestors did centuries ago.

The Nutritional Powerhouse

Bison meat isn't just delicious; it's a nutritional knockout. Here's why our customers can't get enough of our bison jerky:

  1. Lean and Mean: Bison meat is naturally leaner than beef, with less fat and fewer calories.
  2. Protein Packed: A 2-ounce serving of our bison jerky delivers a hefty dose of high-quality protein.
  3. Nutrient Dense: It's rich in iron, zinc, and vitamin B12 - essential nutrients for energy and overall health.

The Buffalo: A World Away

While we don't use true buffalo in our jerky (sorry, no water buffalo here!), it's worth noting the differences:

  • Buffalo tend to be larger and more robust than bison.
  • They have bigger, curved horns compared to the shorter, sharper horns of bison.
  • Buffalo have smoother coats, lacking the thick, shaggy fur around the head and shoulders that gives bison their distinctive silhouette.

Jerky Journey: From Field to Flavor

The Chalet Market Way

At Chalet Market, we take pride in our jerky-making process. It's not just about drying meat; it's about crafting an experience. Here's how we do it:

  1. Selection: We source only the finest, all-natural North American bison meat.
  2. Preparation: Our bison jerky is whole muscle, thinly sliced to perfection.
  3. Marination: We soak the slices in our secret blend of spices for five full days. This isn't a rush job - good things take time!
  4. Smoking: Into our traditional smokehouses the marinated meat goes, emerging with that distinct, smoky flavor that screams "Montana."

The Flavor Profile

Our bison jerky isn't your run-of-the-mill gas station fare. We've carefully crafted a flavor profile that:

  • Complements the natural taste of bison meat
  • Offers just the right amount of spice - enough to tantalize your taste buds without overwhelming them
  • Captures the essence of Montana and the Old West in every bite

Why Choose Bison Jerky?

Health Benefits

Remember those nutritional facts we dug up? Let's break them down:

  • Low in Calories: At just 70-80 calories per 28-gram serving, our bison jerky is a guilt-free snack.
  • High in Protein: Perfect for hikers, athletes, or anyone looking for a protein boost.
  • Low in Fat and Cholesterol: A heart-healthy choice for the health-conscious snacker.

Ethical Eating

By choosing Chalet Market's bison jerky, you're not just treating your taste buds - you're supporting:

  1. Sustainable Agriculture: Bison are integral to maintaining the health of prairie ecosystems.
  2. Local Economy: We source our bison from North American ranchers, supporting local communities.

The Chalet Market Difference

What sets our bison jerky apart? It's more than just meat - it's a slice of Montana heritage.

  • All-Natural: No nitrites, no MSG. Just pure, unadulterated bison goodness.
  • Handcrafted: Each batch is lovingly prepared by our team, led by owners Mark and Gwen Croghan.
  • Community-Focused: We're not just a business; we're part of the Montana family. Your purchase supports local jobs and traditions.

Savoring the Experience

So, how should you enjoy your Chalet Market bison jerky? Here are some ideas:

  1. On the Trail: Tuck a package into your backpack for a protein-packed hiking snack.
  2. At the Office: Beat the afternoon slump with a savory, satisfying chew.
  3. Road Trips: Skip the fast food and fuel up with our nutritious jerky instead.
  4. Pairing Perfection: Try it with a local Montana craft beer or a robust red wine for a true taste of the West.

Answering the Call of the Wild

In the end, whether you call it buffalo or bison jerky, what matters is the quality, flavor, and story behind the product. At Chalet Market, we're proud to offer a jerky that's more than just a snack - it's a connection to the land, the animals, and the people of Montana.

So, next time you're hankering for a taste of the Old West, remember: our bison jerky isn't just food; it's a journey through Montana's rich culinary landscape. Why settle for ordinary when you can experience the extraordinary?

Ready to embark on your own jerky journey? Mosey on over to Chalet Market and let your taste buds roam free with our premium bison jerky. After all, in Montana, we don't just eat jerky - we live it!


  1. Q: Is your bison jerky gluten-free?
    A: Yes, our bison jerky is 100% gluten-free.
    *The only exception is the Teriyaki Jerky

  2. Q: How long does your bison jerky last?
    A: When stored properly in a cool, dry place, our jerky can last up to 6 months unopened.

  3. Q: Do you ship your bison jerky nationwide?
    A: Absolutely! We ship our jerky all across the United States, bringing a taste of Montana to your doorstep.

  4. Q: Is bison jerky healthier than beef jerky?
    A: Generally, yes. Bison jerky is typically leaner and lower in calories than beef jerky, while still providing high-quality protein.

  5. Q: Can I visit Chalet Market to try the jerky in person?
    A: We'd love to have you! Drop by our store in Montana to sample our jerky and other local specialties.

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