Ground sumac is considered an “essential spice” in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking. It’s a burgundy-colored spice, dried and ground into a fine powder, which adds flavor to your favorite Mediterranean dishes, from salads and hummus to rice and kebabs.
Ground sumac is NOT poison sumac – two different things! Ground sumac is derived from a deep red berry bush that grows wild in all Mediterranean areas and parts of the Middle East. It has a deliciously balanced bright and tangy citrus taste, and it’s best used in dressings, rubs, and marinades, or sprinkled on a dish fresh just before serving.
If you’d like to try using sumac from the Holy Land Gift Shop for something non-traditional, try saying goodbye to the warm weather with this refreshing recipe:
Sparkling Sumac Lemonade
Sparkling Sumac Lemonade (Photo by Yossy Arefi)
For the Sumac Syrup:
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
3 tbsp ground sumac
For the Lemonade:
1 cup soda or seltzer water
¼ cup sumac syrup
1 tbsp juice from lemon
1 lemon cut into wedges
- Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved.
- Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Add sumac, stir to combine, and allow to infuse for 5 minutes.
- Strain through a fine mesh strainer.
- Sumac syrup can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- For each serving, combine club soda, sumac syrup, and lemon juice in a cup.
- Add ice and stir.
- Serve with a lemon wedge.
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