Sumac spice is a flowering plant that grows in the Middle East, Asia, and North America. It usually grows as a small shrub or tree. Its flowers form a red fruit that is ground and used as a spice, typically in Middle Eastern cuisine.
Sumac has a tangy flavor that tastes lemony but is less intense than fresh lemon juice.
The spice can be used as a dry rub, in marinades, or sprinkled on top of salads or sauces - it adds a beautiful pop of color to dishes. It's especially good sprinkled on hummus!
You can harvest and make your own sumac spice, as well. It's also easy to make your own sumac tea.
Sumac Spice Recipes
Sumac can be used in a multitude of ways. Below is a list of recipes that use sumac spice in creative and delicious ways.
It's often used in Middle Eastern and Turkish recipes.
- Shepherd's Salad (Turkish Chopped Salad)
- Turkish Potato Salad (Patates Salatasi)
- Salad Shirazi (Persian Cucumber & Tomato Salad)
- Cauliflower Feta Lemon Meatballs from Divalicious Recipes
- Fall Fattoush Salad Recipe from Salt & Lavender
- Golden Beet Panzanella from Oat & Sesame
- Lamb Salad Flatbread from My Kitchen Love
- One-Skillet Crispy Mediterranean Chicken from Bunsen Burner Bakery
- Roast Potato Salad with Sumac Yoghurt Dressing from The Cook Report
- Spiced Sweet Potato Soup, Sumac Croutons, & Chorizo from The Cook Report
- Spinach Pastries (Fatayer Sabanekh) from Little Sunny Kitchen
- Sumac Caramelized Onion Mini Musakhan from The Delicious Crescent
- Traditional Baba Ghanoush from Healthy World Cuisine
Where to Buy Sumac Spice
Sumac is available in most grocery stores and from several online vendors. When buying spices, it’s important to make sure you are buying from distributors that sell high-quality spices. We use and love The Spice House's sumac.
If you'd like to buy it on Amazon, we recommend The Spice Lab Sumac.
Do you like spices? Check out some of our other spice guides.
Tuesday 14th of November 2017
When I was young in Missouri, we would take a branch with sumac berries and soak them in water adding a sugar to taste and have a lemonade.
Monday 30th of October 2017
Awesome little guide! Love the flavor of sumac. Thanks for including my recipe in your roundup.
Friday 10th of November 2017
Thanks, Natasha! :)