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Ingredient

Ground Sumac

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What is it?

A berry that is dried and ground into a tart spice, sumac is used throughout the Middle East, often as a stand-in for lemon juice. Though it’s a relative of the itch-inducing plant known as poison sumac, the the variety used in cooking is perfectly safe. Sumac’s tart, astringent flavor marries well with chicken, beef, and even fruit (think apple pie).

How to choose:

In the United States, you’re most likely to find the dried burgundy-colored berries already ground into a powder, though occasionally they’re sold whole. Look for sumac in Middle Eastern markets.

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