What Is Sumac? Learn How to Use Sumac With Tips and 8 Sumac Recipes

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Aug 13, 2021 • 4 min read

With a deep red hue and trademark citrusy tartness, sumac is one of the most instantly recognizable spices of the Middle East. Although sumac has yet to become a household ingredient in every American kitchen, this unique and exotic spice has long been lauded around the world for its bold flavor and health-giving properties.

In addition to its rich culinary history, which dates back beyond the Roman empire, the health benefits of this ancient spice were first documented thousands of years ago in Greek medicinal texts, which noted sumac’s antiseptic qualities. Today, this versatile ingredient is used worldwide to enhance and compliment the flavors of everything from hearty grilled meats, to fresh vegetables, to delicate desserts.