Sumac Leaf Profile
Also known as
Rhus coriaria Not to be confused with other poisonous varieties.
Sumac as a spice comes from the leaves of a wild bush that is native in all Mediterranean areas, especially in Sicily and southern Italy, and parts of the Middle East, notably Turkey, and naturalized to most of the United States. It is cultivated there as well as growing wild and can grow to about ten feet. Though the spice does not have much fragrance, the berries have a tart, tangy flavor due to the malic acid in them. Besides being put to a wide variety of medicinal and culinary uses by Native Americans, the plant was also said to be able to foretell the weather.
The astringent-acidic flavour of sumac spice mostly goes back to two different types of constituents: Tannines (gallotannines, together 4%) and organic acids (malic, citric, and tatric acid plus smaller amounts of succinic, maleic, fumaric and ascorbic acid).
Usually used in cooking as a rub for kebabs before grilling and may be used this way for fish and poultry. The Middle Eastern spice mixture, zatar, contains sumac, thyme and sesame. A mixture of yogurt and sumac is often served with kebabs.
Due to the tannin content the leaves have been utilized as a tanning agent in the leather industry.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.