The dried and ground berries of the sumac bush. The fine powder has a tangy-lemony taste. In the Middle East sumac is as much of an essential ingredient as vinegar or lemon juice is in the West.
This tart-fruity spice is wonderful dusted on meats, fish, chicken, or simply on rice and veggies. Try sprinkling a bit of sumac on top of Persian cucumbers with feta or plain yogurt for a delicious side dish.
Small red berries with sour taste.
Selecting and Buying
Preparation and Use
The berries can be dried, ground and sprinkled into the cooking, or macerated in hot water and mashed to release their juice, the resulting liquid being used as one might use lemon juice. Ground sumac keeps well if kept away from light and air.
Conserving and Storing
Store in an airtight container in a cool dark place.