According to thekitchn.com
“While you may have wild sumac growing in your backyard, and you know it’s poisonous, there are non-poisonous varieties of sumac that grow in the Middle East that are crushed up in powder and used as a spice.
“Sumac spice is commonly found in Middle Eastern cuisine. The dark reddish powder has a zingy, lemony taste and is excellent when sprinkled on hummus. It’s also used as an ingredient in zataar, a Middle Eastern spice mix. The spice was long used to add tartness to many dishes until the Romans introduced lemons to the area.”
Find out what-can-i-cook-with-sumac-spice, including
• Sumac-Dusted Oven Fries with Garlic Spread
• Fattoush, A Delicious Middle Eastern Salad
• Za’atar Seasoning Blend
• Dolmas (Stuffed Grape Leaves)
At thespicehouse.com they say:
“Sumac has a tart flavor that is very nice sprinkled over salad dressings, rice pilaf, or over raw onions. Try substituting in any dish on which you might squeeze fresh lemon juice. If you enjoy hummus, try topping it with a sprinkling of sumac. It’s delightful!
“Sumac is considered essential for cooking in much of the Middle East; it served as the tart, acidic element in cooking prior to the introduction of lemons by the Romans. Sumac has a very nice, fruity-tart flavor which is not quite as overpowering as lemon. In addition to their very pleasant flavor, flakes from the berry are a lovely, deep red color which makes a very attractive garnish.”
Recipes at thespicehouse.com include:
Sesame Sumac Pesto
Tomato and Red Lentil Soup
Vinegar Allergy Italian Salad Dressing
Until such time at we get an appropriately sexxed (up) companion to encourage our Sumac tree to bloom, you can buy 100g jar of Sumac Spice from Veggies at the Sumac Centre for £3.50.
Sumac at Wikipedia