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sxwŏsem (Soapberry)

Not common to the humid environment of the Fraser Valley, the soapberry was a staple import for the Stó:lō people from the Thompson people of the Interior. These berries were traded as berry cakes, dried, or in the raw form.

Soapberries are used to create Indian ice cream , a mixture of whipped soapberries, water, and a sweetener. The sweetening agent is typically made from other berries, blue camas or refined sugars. The process of making the ice cream is similar to whipping egg whites, and the final Indian ice cream has very similar qualities.


(150.8 KB)A soapberry patch.
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