No, not the poisonous sumac that causes uncomfortable rashes. Sumac, the spice, is a berry from the “staghorn” bush. These small brick-red berries are dried and ground. Historically this spice is from the Middle East and used as a souring flavor much like dried mango in Indian cuisine. In Greek and Roman times, sumac was used to tan leather and dye wool.
The flavor profile for sumac is clean, lemony and fruity. The aroma can “wake one up” with the strong tangy, almost vinegar fragrance. Typically sumac is added to spiced rubs, tabbouleh and fatoush salads and za’atar. Its bright color makes it perfect to sprinkle on avocados, hummus, yogurt and dips. At The Spice Tin we suggest using sumac as a salt substitute.
As with most all spices and herbs, sumac in ancient times was used to treat ailments with liver, lungs, and lymphatic system. Sumac is rich in antioxidants and is also antimicrobial.
Fatoush Salad – traditional Middle Eastern recipe
Sumac Chicken – moist, delicious and pretty
Grilled Pineapple with Sumac – great flavor accents
New At The Tin
Entube spice pastes now can be purchased at The Spice Tin. We have Harissa Paste, Curry Paste, Mole Paste and Umeboshi Paste in large 3.5 oz tubes as well as the travel kit containing small tubes of Harissa, Curry and Mole. Umeboshi is an exotic combination of salty, sweet, earthy and spicy. This traditional Japanese flavor, made from fermented plums, pairs with deviled eggs, rice & noodle dishes, avocado, seafood and well, how about an Umetini?
What’s Happening in Murphys
Go to www.visitmurphys.com
- Grape Stomp and Street Faire, first Saturday in October
- Dia de los Muertos, first Saturday in November
- Murphys Open House, first Friday in December