SHEPHERDIA CANADENSIS, commonly called CANADA BUFFALOBERRY, RUSSET
BUFFALOBERRY, SOOPOLALLIE, SOAPBERRY, or FOAMBERRY (Ktunaxa :
kupaʔtiǂ, ) is one of a small number of shrubs of the genus
* 1 Harvest and consumption * 2 Etymology of "soopolallie" * 3 Gallery * 4 References * 5 External links
HARVEST AND CONSUMPTION
Some Canadian First Nations peoples such as Nlaka\'pamux (Thompson), St\'at\'imc (Lillooet), and Secwepemc (Shuswap) in the Province of British Columbia extensively collect the berries. The bitter berries are not directly consumed but rather processed as "sxusem", also spelled "sxushem" and "xoosum" or "hooshum" ("Indian ice cream "). Collection involves placement of a clean mat or tarpaulin below the bushes, hitting the branches that bear fruit with a stick, collection of only the very ripe fruits that fall off, placement of the harvest in a large clean bowl, mixture in the bowl with another sweet fruit such as raspberries , crushing the mixture, and then vigorous beating of the mixture in the manner of whipping cream in order to raise the foam characteristic of the dish. The berry is both sweet and bitter, and is possibly comparable to the taste of sweetened coffee . The First Nations peoples who prepare it believe that the dish has many healthful properties, but the saponin chemicals which create the foam may cause gastrointestinal irritation if large quantities are consumed. Native themed restaurants in British Columbia have occasionally offered sxusem on their menus in recent years.
ETYMOLOGY OF "SOOPOLALLIE"
The common name of the plant in British Columbia is "soopolallie", a word derived from the historic Chinook Jargon trading language spoken in the North American Pacific Northwest in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The name is a composite of the Chinook words "soop" (soap) and "olallie" (berry).
Sketch by Britton from 1913
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