18th Century Portable Soup
18th Century portable soup also known as “pocket soup” was certainly a one of a kind recipe. Today its biggest ticket to fame can be chalked up to the Lewis and Clark expedition from 1804-1806 into the territory of the recently acquired Louisiana Purchase. According to a letter that Lewis wrote in 1803, he purchased 193 pounds of this portable soup before departing Philadelphia.
This portable soup was nothing like we know or eat today. This pocket soup was made in the usual way and then repeatedly reduced until it took on a gelatinous form. From this form it was regularly dried out in the winter when humidity was low. Once this long process was complete, it was wrapped in paper and made ready for sale. As for the taste of this portable soup let’s just say it wouldn’t be getting very high praise on Yelp these days. Thankfully food preservation techniques have evolved significantly since Lewis and Clark’s venture west so long ago.