This wine-colored ground spice is one of the most useful but least known and most underappreciated. It has an appealing lemon-lime tartness that can be widely used. In Iran, we use it as a condiment, putting it on the table with salt and pepper. You can try this yourself and it will complement most dishes. Using sumac instead of lemon juice or zest immediately enhances dishes, giving a fascinating and exotic twist. Fish, poultry and vegetable dishes all spring to life in a new way. Simply sprinkle over yogurt as a dip, too.
Sumac grow on the Rhus Coriaria shrub, which is typically found in high plateau areas of the Mediterranean like Sicily, due to its wild, rocky lands. Sumac also grows in Turkey and can be found in parts of Iran. Once the berries are fully ripe, they are harvested, dried, and ground. The processed sumac takes on a dark red-burgundy color and the texture of ground nuts. It has a similar smell and taste to lemon but is not as sour. Sumac is widely used as an acidulant