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Prototypes of the Tanka Bar from yesteryear

By Mark K. Tilsen, assistant director of marketing

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The photos above are some of the original prototypes of the Tanka Bar from more than four years ago! We saved these creations in the freezer for posterity and to help remind us that often simple is better.

We started our test-cooking with sun-dried buffalo meat, then mixed in different fruits and grains. We thought to add granola for fiber and energy, then flaxseed to balance out the added carb load, and finally soy to boost the protein content.

The numbers on the bags show which batch they represent. We made hundreds of batches and tested dozens of different recipe combinations during the two-year development process for the original Tanka Bar.

In the end, none of these mixtures tasted right.

These first samples remind us that we began with Wasna, our traditional Lakota survival food consisting of only buffalo meat and fruit.

In the end, we came full circle and brought the Tanka Bar back to where it needed to be: Simple, powerful, good food.

P.S. These things look a little gnarly, don't they?

For more on Wasna and how we developed the Tanka Bar: The Meaning of the Buffalo to our People

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