Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sumac, Savory Sumac

This time of year is the prime time for foraging for the fruit of the staghorn sumac. The bright red, fuzzy fuits have a sour flavor, and have been used extensively as a seasoning in Persian and Middle Eastern cuisines. Here are links to two takes on a "sumac chicken" recipe.

The easiest way to enjoy the flavor of sumac is to cut the fruit-laden cones off of the plants, wash them, steep them in water (I often do this in a jar left out in the sun), strain the resultant liquid, and sweeten it with simple syrup to make a beverage comparable to lemonade.

Of course, if you see any sumac plants with waxy white fruits, stay away.

1 comment:

  1. We had tons of these trees where I grew up. My Father viewed them as a weed more than anything. I had no idea that they were edible. Obviously he didn't either or else he would have been all over that.
    He was like you, a forager. :)