Cooking with Sumac Berries

We talked about the different kinds of sumac earlier this week, noting the flower buds and berries. It turns out that people around the world use the red berries of sumac as a spice in cooking. It seems popular in Middle Eastern and Greek culinary styles. In North America most people would probably think of poison sumac when sumac is mentioned and be totally surprised that it’s used in cooking at all.

Sumac berries and a powder made from crushing the berries have a lemony-taste or citrus flavors.

Here are a few links where folks are sharing their recipes for using sumac in cooking —

The citrus-like flavor should go great with meats and vegetables. I haven’t tried any yet, but I fully intend to pick some berries for my kitchen when they are ripe.

  • Food in Istanbul (
  • A savoury spring salad? You bet your rhubarb (
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