Cookbook:Indian Ice Cream

Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes | Dessert

Indian ice-cream or Sxusem (pronounced "s-khushem", with "kh" sound resembling the final sound in the Scottish word 'loch') is a dessert made by native people throughout the Pacific Northwest region of North America. 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. Indian ice-cream contains saponins, and it is refreshing but a little bitter.


  • 2 cups soapberries also known as the Canada Buffaloberry
  • 2 cups water
  • optional sweeteners may include fireweed, camas bulb (Camassia quamash) or sweet berries such as salal berries (Gaultheria shallon), or thimbleberries. Nowadays many people sweeten it with sugar.


  1. A branch of soapberries can be shaken over a metal or glass container until all of the ripe berries fall off. Oily or plastic containers will prevent frothing.
  2. Crush berries to release the liquid/juice.
  3. Combine juice with an equal part of water.
  4. Add sweetener.
  5. Whip it with a whisk until foamy, similar in texture to whipped cream.


  • 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 ISBN 0-7748-0606-0. 
  • Turner, Nancy (2003). Food Plants of Coastal First Peoples. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. ISBN ISBN 0-7748-0533-1. 

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