What Is Sumac? And How Do I Use It?

February 19, 2016 | By | Comments (0)

These flavorful Persian Street Vendor Kebabs are reminiscent of food sold from street carts in Manhattan.

A dried red spice used traditionally in Middle Eastern cooking, sumac is having a moment. Home cooks and chefs alike have have become infatuated by the bright, tart, lightly astringent flavor the spice adds to dishes.

The brick red powder is made by crushing the dried fruits of the sumac bush. It’s popular enough to be be sold at specialty retailers like Penzey’s, but it may not yet be stocked at your local supermarket. Still, it’s worth seeking out.

Just a pinch adds beguiling complexity to spice rubs for grilled and roasted meats or fish. Also, try sprinkling it over a bowl of hummus or taboulleh, mix a little into vinaigrette for salad, or use it wherever you might add a dash of paprika for an unexpected pop of flavor.

Try Sumac in These Dishes:


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