Ground Sumac Berries Spice
Sumac comes from the fruit of a bush indigenous to the Middle East. The bush is actually a member of the cashew family and the fruit is used widely in Turkey and other Arabic countries. Sumac is a main ingredient in the Middle Eastern spice blend Za'atar.
Sumac Q & A
What is sumac?
Sumac is actually a reddish-purple berry found on wild bushes throughout the Mediterranean and Middle East.
What does sumac taste like?
Sumac is tart and fruity, and also acts as a flavor enhancer, similar to salt.
Is sumac edible?
Not to be confused with the poisonous sumac plant, sumac berries used for culinary purposes are edible.
Cooking With Sumac
Sumac berries are picked, dried and ground into a coarse powder before being used in the cooking process. This powder is used to flavor salad dressings, meats, rice dishes and kebobs. Sumac can also be mixed with other vegetables such as onions and used as a condiment. Before the Romans learned of lemons, they used sumac for its sour and pleasantly astringent taste. They called it Syrian sumac.
Flavor of Sumac
These dried ground berries are tart and lemony and pair well with allspice, cumin, garlic, paprika, and thyme.
Uses for Sumac
Brings out the flavor in foods, similar to salt. Flavor marinades, dressings, meats, rice dishes, and kebobs. Mix with vegetables, like onions, and use as a condiment.
Lamb chop: Brush lamb with olive oil, season with salt, pepper, and sumac before roasting.
Scallops: Sprinkle 1/2 tsp. over 1 pound of scallops after searing to add a citrus note.
Ground Sumac Berries Spice Recipe
Spice Blend Recipe: Za'Atar
For 4-5 T of mix: Blend 2 T sumac with 2 t sesame seeds and kosher salt, 1 t thyme and oregano, and 1/2 t ground cumin