Country of Origin:
Our organic sumac has a tart, lemony taste. It's often used as a seasoning for grilled meats or as a garnish for salads and other dishes. It is also a key ingredient in za'atar, a popular spice blend.
Sumac is a spice that is popular in the Middle East. The berries are turned into a coarse powder and sold as a ground spice. Sumac is a versatile seasoning that adds a bright red color and a tartness, similar to lemon juice, to a dish.
Sumac berries grow on the "Rhus coriaria" shrub, which is typically found in high plateau areas of the Mediterranean like Sicily, due to its wild, rocky lands. Sumac also grows in Turkey and can be found in parts of Iran. Once the berries are fully ripe, they are harvested, dried, and ground. The processed sumac takes on a dark red-burgundy color and the texture of ground nuts. Sumac is widely used as an acidulant in Arabic and Lebanese cooking, and similar to salt, it brings out the natural flavors of the foods it is cooked with.
Sumac has been used by humans for at least 2,000 years. Greek physician Pedanius Dioscorides, who lived from circa 40 - 90 AD, wrote about its supposed diuretic and antiflatulent properties in his revered medical book "De Materia Medica", and it has since been used as an antiseptic, a tonic.
The word sumac traces its etymology from old french "sumac", from mediaeval latin "sumach", from arabic "summāq", from syriac "summāqa" meaning "red". The generic name "Rhus" derives from ancient greek "rhous", meaning "sumac".
Did you know?
- There is another variety of sumac that grows native in North America called staghorn sumac, "Rhus typhina".
- If you live in the midwest, you’ve likely seen groves of these sumac trees alongside the highway. The fuzzy purple-red berries of this variety are also edible and taste and appear similar to Turkish sumac.
- Staghorn sumac was used by Native Americans to flavor tart beverages. Steep the buds in water, add a little sugar, and you have "Sumac-ade", a popular American drink that was once marketed at traveling carnivals as pink lemonade.
In order to keep our organic herbs, spices & seasoning blends as fresh as possible we keep our standing inventory very low. There may be up to a 4 week lead time for this product to get you the freshest products possible.
- Store below 15°C and < 65% humidity.
- Store in the dark as light degrades flavors.
- Mason jars make great storage containers.
- Can be frozen to prolong shelf life.