" The sumac berries can be dried, ground and sprinkled into the cooking, or macerated in hot water and mashed to release their juice, the resulting liquid being used as one might use lemon juice
" The juice extracted from sumac is popular in salad dressings and marinades and the powdered form is used in stews and vegetable and chicken casseroles
" In Arabic cuisine, its is used as a garnish on meze dishes such as Hummous and is added on salads in the Levant.
" In Persian (Iranian) cuisine, sumac is added to rice or kabob. In Turkish cuisine, for example, it is added to salad-servings of kebabs and lahmacun.
" In North America, the smooth sumac (Rhus glabra) and the staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) are sometimes used to make a beverage termed "sumac-ade," "Indian lemonade" or "rhus juice". This drink is made by soaking the drupes in cool water, rubbing them to extract the essence, straining the liquid through a cotton cloth and sweetening it.
How to store sumac
Ground sumac keeps well if kept away from light and air.
Health benefits of sumac
" The berries have diuretic properties, and are used in bowel complaints and for reducing fever.
" In the Middle East, a sour drink is made from them to relieve stomach upsets
" Some species, such as Poison ivy (Rhus toxicodendron, syn.Toxicodendron radicans) etc have the allergen urushiol and can cause severe allergic reactions.