Saskatoon, or Serviceberry: Metis Cuisine
Saskatoon, or Serviceberry (
: This berry was called theMisaskatoomena by the Cree, the Serviceberry by the English and
bythe French. The fruits of the Saskatoon are eaten fresh, canned or dried. The Metis,after gathering the berries, would spread them out on tarps or blankets to dry. If the blankets were to be left overnight, they would be elevated on stakes to protect thefruit from animals. The berries were often mixed with dry powdered meat to make pemmican. Sticks of the Saskatoon bush were barked and split, then boiled insturgeon oil to keep the oil fresh during storage.Saskatoons have a sweet nutty taste and the fruits have long been eaten byCanada’s Aboriginal people, fresh or dried. They are well known as an ingredient in pemmican, a preparation of dried meat to which saskatoon berries are added asflavour and preservative. They are also often used in pies, jam, wine, cider and beer.
Compiled by Lawrence BarkwellCoordinator of Metis Heritage and History ResearchLouis Riel Institute