The Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua Tribe of Indians is one of nine federally recognized Indian tribal governments in the state of Oregon. Though the Umpqua Indians were one of the first tribes to ratify a treaty with the US in 1853, this treaty left the tribe landless. The tribe was paid 2.3 cents an acre for their land and the treaty they signed was basically ignored by the Federal government. In 1980 the Cow Creeks took a land claims case to the US Court of Claims and won a $1.5 million settlement. The tribe placed the entire settlement into an endowment and used the interest on this money to fund economic development, education, and housing for their members.
Today the Umpqua Indian Development Corporation is the driving economic engine that operates many successful businesses. Umpqua Indian Foods is one such business owned by the Cow Creek Band since 1998. Its mission is to produce quality food products and put people to work.
Umpqua Indian Foods makes jerky, fruit and veggie chips, and an assortment of other products like candy, jams, jelly and mustard.
We tried the two of the chips and four types of jerky. Each product was interesting and different.
Veggie Chips, is a combination of sweet potato, squash, carrot, taro and green beans. The vegetables are first dehydrated and then baked with canola oil. The chips are packaged in a reclosable bag. We opened the bag to taste and closed it. This product is different and of far better quality than many of the other veggie chips available on the market. A week later we realized the bag was still sitting on the shelf and we were surprised to find the chips were still crisp and retained their flavor. They were not stale even though they have no preservatives or additives. A 1-ounce serving (one-fourth of the bag) has 120 calories, 6 grams of fat (no saturated fat), 1 gram of protein, 18 grams of carb, 2 grams of sugar, 2 grams of fiber and 55 milligrams of sodium.
‘Nana Crisps are dehydrated, caramelized banana slices that can be used as a chip or to top cereal. They are crispy and have a mild, sweet banana flavor. They have no preservatives or additives. A 1-ounce serving (one-fifth of the bag) has 120 calories, 6 grams of fat (no saturated fat), no protein, 15 grams of carb, 3 grams of sugar, a trace of fiber and no sodium.
We had jerky-loving testers try 4 types of jerky.
Premium Beef Steak Jerky Original is one of the brand’s classic handmade jerky products. It comes in a 4-ounce resealable package with a 12-month shelf life. A 1-ounce serving has 60 calories, 1.5 grams of fat (0.5 is saturated fat), 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 9 grams of protein, no carbs, fiber or sugar, and 340 milligrams of sodium. Our testers really liked this product saying it tasted like jerky should, not too dry and with plenty of flavor.
Brew Pub Steak Jerky Beer Flavored comes in a 4-ounce resealable package. A 1-ounce serving has 90 calories, 3 grams of fat (1 gram is saturated fat), 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 10 grams of protein, 6 grams of carbs, 5 grams of sugar, and 360 milligrams of sodium. Our testers rated this product as “great.” They said, “It tastes like an awesome, kick in the pants, spicy, beef jerky that makes it hard to put the bag down even after you’ve already eaten your portion.”
Jerky For Life is a sugar free, gluten free food. It is available in Black Pepper & Garlic and Jalapeno flavors. It comes in a 4-ounce resealable package. A 1-ounce serving has 50 calories, 1.5 grams of fat (0.5 is saturated fat), 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 9 grams of protein, no carbs or sugar, and 350 milligrams of sodium in the Black Pepper & Garlic flavor (370 milligrams in the Jalapeno flavor). Our testers thought the Black Pepper & Garlic flavor was a little too mild for their taste but the Jalapeno flavor had the perfect amount of heat.