If you enjoy hummus, try topping you plate of hummus with a bit of sumac. It’s delightful! In ancient times Sumac served as the tart, acidic element in cooking prior to the introduction of lemons and limes. Sumac has a very nice, fruity-tart flavor which is not quite as overpowering as lemon.
Sumac is the star among the spices in Turkey and other Mediterranean countries. Similar to salt and pepper, sumac powder is often used for seasoning at the table.
Unfortunately Sumac is still completely unknown to the European and American kitchen. But that can change!
Sumac consists of the dried and crushed fruits of the sumac shrub, which grows especially well in the Mediterranean region.
Sumac has a particularly fruity, slightly tart and slightly sour taste. Therefore, sumac, similar to vinegar, is great for seasoning and ensures a pleasant acidity. But even when cooking sumac is a great spice! It refines meat and fish, bean and rice dishes or oriental dips. Sprinkle sumac over lettuce or combine it with parsley, sesame, garlic and cilantro to add that extra twist to your dishes!
Base spice in the Mediterranean with fruity, slightly tart and slightly sour flavors. The Romans appreciated sumac for its sour taste which made if perfect for BBQs, marinades, fish, meat and kebab dishes and even for yogurt sauces! Our Sumac powder contains a pinch of salt (3%).
How to make Indian Vinegar Lemonade “Indian Lemonade”
Used for: Vitamin C deficiency or as a refreshing, sour-tasting drink
* 5 teaspoons of Sumac powder
* 4 cups/1 liter of water (preferably non-carbonated)
Just pour the water on the berries and put the glass in the fridge for about 24 hours. Rinse and then enjoy!
You can also refine the drink by adding lemon balm or sugar/stevia or similar for sweetening. The taste of this drink is approximately between lemon and grapefruit. If necessary sweeten your sumac beverage because the drink is quite sour.
Although it is sold as a dried powder, the sumac is quite moist and coarse. It also tends to form smaller lumps. This is typical of sumac and no need to worry. The seeds contain up to 15% of oil. Also, the sumac does not smell as intense as one might expect. But the taste makes more than up for that. The smell is slightly tart.
Sumach is a very popular spice, especially in Turkey and Iran. It is often served with salads and is used for its digestive action on high-fat meals. For rice, sumac is obligatory in Iran.
In northern European cuisine, the sumac has finally gotten around, especially since it is due to its sour taste very well as an alternative to vinegar and lemon juice. Sumac is considered the sourest spice in the world. The sour and bitter taste of sumac is due to the fruit acids contained. Predominantly apple and citric acid to smaller proportions also tartaric acid, succinic acid, maleic acid, fumaric acid and ascorbic acid.
The sumac fruits have a reddish brown to purple color when fully ripe and are arranged in large racemes. The single fruit is a small 4-7mm large stone fruit. It is flattened and lenticular. The surrounding pulp is rich in oil and juicy.
The plant grows mainly in the Mediterranean climate on dry limestone soils. The distribution area of the spice sumac covers almost the entire northern Mediterranean, the northern Near East to Central Asia. Southern Italy, Greece and Turkey formed the original circulation area which has massively widened in the new time. Especially in the Iberian Peninsula and in the South of France Sumac has become very common.
There are now isolated occurrences in the Canary Islands, in Morocco, in Algeria, in the south of England or even far into Central Asia in Tajikistan.
The Sumac finally conquers the northern European cuisines. Sumac has been a standard spice in Turkey or Iran for more than 1000 years and is always on the table. Also in the time of antiquity, in the Roman Empire sumac was already a coveted spice.
The taste is characterized by its slightly sour, fruity and tart note. Accordingly, the application is also similar to the lemon. With the sumac, however, the tart note outweighs more, resulting in a completely new taste experience when used as an acidulant for your dishes.
While in ancient times the sumac was used primarily to refine fish dishes, its range of uses has expanded to this day. Sumach is so versatile that we can only give some examples here:
- For refining fish dishes
- For rounding off marinades
- To the grilled meat (kebab)
- To fattoush (arabic bread salad)
- Onion salad (Turkish onion salad)
- To casseroles with meat
- To stews (bean stew, rice stew)
- To onion-based vegetable dishes
- Potatoes, bulgur and couscous
- To dishes with rice
- As a topping on salads, sheep’s cheese or Halloumi
- In the dip (with yoghurt)
- In Zatar (oriental spice mix)
- In a vinaigrette (dressing of vinegar, oil and herbs)
Sumac harmonizes particularly well with parsley, sesame, garlic, chili, coriander, cumin, mint, oregano and thyme.
Sumac wonderfully spices eggplants, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, onions, leafy vegetables, pine nuts, walnuts, yogurt, peas, chickpeas, beans, lentils, chicken, lamb, fish and seafood.
Although in Arab countries the sumac is often used as a substitute for lemon or lime, in the reverse case it is a bit more difficult, if not impossible. In order to give the many oriental dishes a fresh, tart note, it is only conditionally advisable to simply use lemon. The sumac is unique in taste and the color component should not be disregarded when preparing.
At least on this planet, there is no adequate substitute for sumac. It is therefore advisable to always have this spice in stock in your kitchen.
Vegan Turkish onion salad with sumac
* 3 medium onions
* 1/2 lemon
* 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons Sumac powder
* 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil (olive oil, sunflower, rapeseed oil or another)
* Parsley as needed
* Pepper and salt
* 1 pinch of sugar
Peel the onions and cut into very thin slices so that the essential oils develop better. Now put the onion rings in a bowl of cold water and swing them back and forth and then drain the water. Now add the juice of half a lemon. Now the sumac comes to the onion rings and the oil. Mix everything well together. Finely chop the parsley, add to the salad, add a pinch of sugar and season to taste with pepper and salt. Mix well with each other and let it simmer briefly. This salad goes well with meat and fish dishes and can be varied with salmon. There are many other possibilities.
Recipe: yoghurt dip with sumac
- 150 g of yogurt
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 table spoon of sumac
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- cream cheese
Squeeze the juice from a fresh half lemon. Mix well with yogurt, sumac, a little salt, pepper and olive oil and season to taste. If the dip is too liquid, you can thicken it with some cream cheese or quark. The sumac provides in this dip for an oriental, lemony and tart note.
Variants: Very finely chopped lemon peel (not in stripes) can also be used. Less lemon juice and more pepper make the dip a bit tart.
Use: The sumac yogurt dip goes well with eggplant and pumpkin.
Recipe: Zatar (Zaatar, Zahtar) with sumac
- 2 teaspoon thyme dried
- 1 tsp marjoram dried
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tbsp sesame roasted
- 1 tsp sumac
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Zatar, Zaatar or Zahtar is a classic oriental spice mixture from the Arabian cuisine. This can be easily produced by yourself. The main ingredients are the zatac herb (Syrian marjoram), roasted sesame, sumac and salt. Since in this country the Zatarkraut is not so easy to get you can also take as a substitute a mixture of normal marjoram, thyme and oregano. Mix all herbs well and grate finely in a mortar.
Variants: 1 teaspoon of coriander could be added depending on the taste preferences of the mixture. If necessary, only thyme without marjoram and oregano would work as a zatac herb substitute. Then use more TL thyme accordingly. Otherwise, just try a little.
Usage: Traditionally, Zatar is eaten to flatbread that was previously soaked in olive oil. Often the spice mixture is also used for grilled or roasted meat. Be sure to try Zatar on tomatoes, baked potatoes or pasta.
Make sumac spice yourself
Normally we have sumac powder available in our shop throughout the year but you can also make it yourself! Find a sumac tree (that’s probably the hardest part) and remove the ripe berries/seeds. Then, once the seed has acquired a dark red color, it is completely dried and can now be ground to a fine powder in a spice mill. Put the powder in a glass and label. Add a pinch of salt to increase color stability.
Product Overview & Details
Net Weight: 2.64oz / 75g
Ingredients: 97% Sumac Powder, 3% Seasalt
Botanical name: Rhus typhina
Processed and manufactured in: Germany
Country of Origin: Turkey
UPC & EAN: 0786301536256 | SKU: FL242 | Method: Ground
Packaging: High quality transparent sealed doypack, made in Germany. Resealable/Press-on reclosable bag.
Quality: 100% Natural organic quality, free from harmful substances/chemicals/heavy metals. 100% cruelty-free.
Color and taste: Typical | Parts used: dried and crushed fruits of the sumac shrub
Storage Instructions: Dry, Cool & Dark Conditions
Dietary & Allergy Info: Non GMO, Gluten Free. Suitable for vegans, vegetarians. No chemicals/preservatives/additives.
Best before: 12 months from production date
FDA Company Registration Number: 17341366304
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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