Indian ice cream (Canada)

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Not to be confused with Indian ice cream (Alaska).
Type Dessert
Place of origin Canada and United States
Region or state Pacific Northwest
Main ingredients Canada Buffaloberry, water; sometimes mild sweeteners
Cookbook:Sxusem  Sxusem
Soapberry plant with berries (Shepherdia canadensis)

Indian ice cream, is a dessert made by native people throughout the Pacific Northwest region of North America. It is made by crushing the saponin-containing berries of the Canada Buffaloberry (Shepherdia canadensis). The liquid produced is mixed with equal parts of water and whipped with a whisk. This produces a foamy substance similar in texture to whipped cream. Traditionally this foam was eaten at larger gatherings with wooden spoons and children were known to play with the foam, sometimes throwing it at each other.

Mild sweeteners such as fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium), camas bulb (Camassia quamash) or sweet berries such as salal berries (Gaultheria shallon), or thimbleberries (Rubus parviflorus) are occasionally added. Nowadays many people sweeten it with cane sugar.

See also[edit]


  • Poser, William (1998). Nak'albun/Dzinghubun Whut'enne Bughuni (Stuart/Trembleur Lake Carrier Lexicon). Vanderhoof, British Columbia: Yinka Dene Language Institute. 
  • Turner, Nancy (1997). Food Plants of Interior First Peoples. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. ISBN 0-7748-0606-0. 
  • Turner, Nancy (2003). Food Plants of Coastal First Peoples. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. ISBN 0-7748-0533-1.