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The Info List - Shepherdia Canadensis



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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 Shepherdia that bears edible berries . The fruit is usually red, but one species has yellow berries . The berries have a bitter taste. The species is widespread in all of Canada
Canada
, except in Prince Edward Island , and in the western and northern United States
United States
, including Alaska
Alaska
and Idaho
Idaho
. The plant is a deciduous shrub of open woodlands and thickets, growing to a maximum of 1–4 m (3.3–13.1 ft).

CONTENTS

* 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.

Unrelated plants in the genus Sapindus produce very toxic saponins and are also commonly denominated "soapberry" along with the edible Canada