Introducing the Buffalo Berry (AKA Soopalallie, Soap Berry)
The bears are really enjoying theses bright red oval shaped, sort of translucent looking berries. End of July is when they are ripe and they are right on time. Right off the bat I will tell you that they do not taste as sweet and scrumptious as they look - they are bitter and super healthy!
This shrub is very hardy and First Nations in many parts of Canada have used this berry as a source of nutrition preparing it in various ways. It is now in the Superfood category and you will start seeing it on the grocery store and health food shelves more.
The berry really packs a serious nutritional hit being rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, iron and lycopene (immune boosting component found in tomatoes). It is soft so if you are collecting some place something underneath the bush to catch the falling berries and shake the branches.
We made “Indian ice cream” with the berries during my undergrad Plant Ecology degree at SFU where for one project I was researching medicinal and edible First Nations plants on the West Coast. Basically to make the “icecream” we added sugar to the berries and whipped them up – it turned a beautiful pink and was super bitter - probably just needed to add more sugar! Be adventurous and treat your family to Superfood right from its source …
How lucky are we! (-: