No, silly! Not a soap to wash your buffalo. It's soap made from buffalo. That's right....from buffalos.
Back in the day when people made their own soaps, they created it from animal fat or more accurately, suet. Suet is the hard fat that is typically found around the internal organs. When suet is rendered down it's called tallow or lard. Soap was made from whatever suet they could get their hands on. The suet from swine renders down in what's called lard and what comes from beef, deer and buffalo is called tallow.
Despite some people's negative connotation of rubbing animal fat on your body, tallow and lard soaps are excellent fats to use in soaps. Low pore clogging and hard, long lasting white bar of soap. What not to love?
Want to know something else?! Ivory brand of soap also contains tallow. (Sodium Tallowate) Bet you didn't know that!
Twice a year my husband Scott and I participate in a pioneer reenactment at a historically correct Stockade.
Click here to go the Forest City Stockade Website.
The rebuilding of the Forest City Stockade was done totally by volunteers who pride themselves on their attention to detail and more importantly, historical accuracy. When improvements or additions are considered for the Stockade the first questions asked are how did the pioneers do it or create it and is it appropriate and correct for the time period?
While at the Stockade I give talks to the visitors about how pioneers made their soaps. I would also give away small samples of lard soaps to bring home and try.
It comes in a large chunk of suet like this. First thing that needs to happen is it needs to get chopped into smaller pieces so I can render it down.