Sunday, October 11, 2009
Sumac (pronounced /ˈʃuːmæk/ or /ˈs(j)uːmæk/; also spelled sumach) is any one of approximately 250 species of flowering plants in the genus Rhus and related genera, in the family Anacardiaceae.
Sumacs grow in subtropical and temperate regions throughout the world, especially in North America.
Sumacs are shrubs and small trees that can reach a height of 1–10 metres (3.3–33 ft). The leaves are spirally arranged; they are usually pinnately compound, though some species have trifoliate or simple leaves. The flowers are in dense panicles or spikes 5–30 centimetres (2.0–12 in) long, each flower very small, greenish, creamy white or red, with five petals. The fruits form dense clusters of reddish drupes called sumac bobs. The dried drupes of some species are ground to produce a tangy purple spice.
Sumacs propagate both by seed (spread by birds and other animals through their droppings), and by new shoots from rhizomes, forming large clonal colonies.
hummus or lightly rubbed on a flank steak for a fruity brightness that pairs well with the meaty flavors. Traditional uses include blending with onions as they cook and sprinkling over the meat used for your favorite kebab.
Preparation and Storage
The 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. Ground sumac keeps well if kept away from light and air.
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