What is Sumac?
Sumac is a spice made from the dried fruits of the sumac-tree (also called dyer's tree). Rarely you can get the pure spice. Normally they produce it with a small amount of salt and therefore counts as a spice blend. The salt is important to maintain its quality over a longer period.
Where does it come from?
Sumac comes from the eastern Mediterranean like Turkey, Syria, or Sicily. The tree - shrub, which grows about 3 meters tall, thrives best in the Mediterranean climate and on dry limestone soils. The sumac drupes are crimson at maturity and 5 mm in size. After harvest, they are dried in the sun and then roughly ground. In the end, they mix it with a little salt.
Sumac since antiquity
Since antiquity, man has used sumac as a medicine. Furthermore, since ancient times they use it in leather production. In the Roman period, they use sumak as an acidifier for food production. The aroma was obtained by extraction with water.
How does it taste?
Sumac has a sour, fruity-tart taste, and replaces the lemon, tamarind, and vinegar.
How is it used?
- It is an essential spice in Arabic, Turkish and Lebanese cuisine. It is highly appreciated for its sour taste and acts as a table spice.
- The Turkish cuisine often uses it to season salads and kebabs. Besides, there are often onion rings seasoned with this spice in combination with parsley. This spice combination gives the onion rings a uniquely fresh and sour flavor.
- Sumaq also goes well with grilled meats, poultry, and fish. For this, rub the spice on the meat before barbecuing.
- Mix some sumak with yogurt, and you have an excellent dip or even refine your sauces with it.
- In Iran, they aromatize butter rice with it.
- It is also an ingredient in the well-known spice mixture Zathar.
- Also, it refines casseroles with meat or fish alike with its delicate aroma.
To which spices does Sumak fit?
Sumak goes well with the following spices: chili, coriander, garlic, cumin, mint, sesame, thyme, parsley
Ingredients; Sumak 5% salt
Recipe yogurt dressing with sumac
For your salad dressing, take a cup of natural yogurt and mix it with 2 tablespoons freshly chopped mint. Then press a clove of garlic, and take half a teaspoon of sumac. Blend it well with the yogurt.