Sumac is native to the Middle East. Cultivation dates back to Roman times when it was used as a ‘souring’ flavour. It is made from the fruit berry from the genus ‘Rhus’ shrub of which there are about 35 different varieties. The berries are red and are dried and then ground into a powder.
Sumac has a tart, fruity, tangy lemon flavour.
Sumac is used extensively in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine.
Sumac is used in dry rubs, added to marinades and dressings. It goes well with vegetables, grilled lamb, chicken and fish. It is excellent as a flavouring for kebabs, used in a Fattoush salad or added to hummus. It is also great sprinkled over salads etc before serving and is a main ingredient in the Za’atar mix.