Sumac – spice up your cooking with this fruity, tangy seasoning
Sumac is a tangy spice with notes of apple and lemon that pairs perfectly with lamb, chicken, fish, tomato, avocado, red onion and feta. You can use it in rubs and marinades, sprinkled over salads and it makes a great addition to dips and sauces. Try mixing sumac with Greek yoghurt for an easy and fabulous dressing.
Commonly used in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and North African food, Sumac comes from Sumac trees (Rhus coriaria) that grow wild in the Mediterranean region and are found in southern Italy and much of the Middle East. The berries of the Sumac tree are slightly larger than a peppercorn and are covered with a hairy down, similar to a kiwifruit. The berries ripen from green to a deep crimson colour when they are harvested.
Sumac is a key ingredient in the Middle East’s popular spice blend za’atar, which is made by combining sumac, thyme, parsley, oregano, salt and toasted sesame seeds. Za’atar is traditionally sprinkled on flatbread that has been brushed with olive oil and toasted.