Sunday, January 24, 2010

Feature: SUMAC

I just love finding unusual ingredients or using things in a new way. A latest discovery of mine is SUMAC. This spice comes from the berry of a plant called Rhus coriaria. The name refers to the word corium, Latin for leather, as the leaves and bark are used in the tanning process.
This shrubby tree grows wild in the Middle East and parts of Italy. The brick-red fruits are sold as dried coarsely ground or whole berries. The spice is also known as "Sicilian sumac," "sumaq" or "sumach," and other similar variations.
It has a tart and slight lemony taste and Sumac is often referred to as a "souring agent." It was once used to calm the stomach. Today sumac is considered mainly a condiment used much like salt in that it is passed in small dishes at the table.
I used it recently on some cooked chicken. I just addes some to a salt, pepper and olive oil mix and brushed the chicken with the mix and grilled it. Then served with a salad, DELICIOUS!

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