Monday, 31 October 2016

Splendid Sumac.



The Sumacs are showing their colours. They must be the most flamboyant of Autumn's frippery.

I always use ground Sumac on my home-made Houmous, and would love to make my own.

Does anyone grind their own Sumac powder? Any tips?



52 comments:

  1. I just had to google Sumac. I'd never heard of it before.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are very easy plants, and spread like crazy. This time of year they are magnifique. Sumac powder is made from the horn-like flowers, but I'm not sure quite how.

      Delete
  2. Sorry, never have ground it before or cooked with it. I've only ooggled it. Love those bright colors!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I sprinkle it onto my Houmous with lots of Olive oil.

      Delete
  3. I am sure Camus enjoyed them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In a palindromic kinda way?

      Delete
    2. Yep. The first thing I thought on seeing the word.

      Delete
    3. Why do you think my daughter's middle given name is HANNAH?

      Delete
    4. I like the name. you like palindromic.

      A popular name amongst the Chardonnays and Summers in Norwich is Nevaeh...

      Delete
    5. Oh dear! I think I prefer the Welsh name Lleh.

      Delete
  4. What a brilliant co!ours. I know all about sumac, never used it though and had no idea where it came from.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It has a slightly Lemony astringent quality.

      Delete
  5. When I was a child we had a row of Sumac but always called them Vinegar Trees. I never knew why or what their real name was until a few years back when I found information in a book about the uses of plants that mentioned their use as a sharp astringent in foods of the past.
    The book's in a box somewhere or I would find it and tell you more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We always used to refer to ours as Staghorn Trees. The powder is still used a lot; mostly in the Middle East.

      Delete
  6. I like Sue had to Google it. Now I will keep a look out for it here.
    Greetings Maria x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know if it has many uses, but sprinkled on Houmous is probably the most common.

      Delete
  7. We use it often here, i did not know where it is comes from, now i know,thank you Cro.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can imagine it being popular in Israel.

      Delete
  8. What splendid colours. We used to have one at home, we called it the mouse tree because of the soft furry branches. Every garden had one in the 60's but you don't see them anywhere now over here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right, they're no longer in vogue. I seem to remember that I brought my original tiny piece of root from England, now we have loads.

      Delete
  9. Research and ensure that there is not a) Sumac - for powder and eating.
    b) Sumac - for ornamental garden use.
    I have no idea but we have a non eating, fruiting cherry tree.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe that the only poisonous Sumac is the one that has white berries; all others are fine.

      Delete
  10. I have never heard of sumac powder. I don't think Waitrose sell it!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not common on the everyday English breakfast table. But you may be surprised about Waitrose.

      Delete
  11. I like the sound of this and wI'll keep my dye out for a tree, would make a nice specimen in the garden with colours like that as well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you find some, just pull a small sucker from the base; they grow very easily.

      Delete
    2. Kev. this tree self -seeds all over the place. We have lots of seedlings if you would like me to send you one.
      Never heard of eating the seeds Cro must look into this.

      Delete
  12. Waitrose have it and, I would think that most supermarkets do here in the UK .. I wouldn't have said that it was that an unusual ingredient.
    We used to have a Sumac tree in our garden but it gave up the ghost a couple of years ago ..... we now just have the trunk ..... I think it had been there since Edwardian times !!!!!! XXXX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I would have thought that Waitrose would sell it. I buy it here in quite small packs. Our trees spread like crazy; I'm surprised yours didn't.

      Delete
    2. Our Waitrose is quite small. I will have a look though.

      Delete
    3. It lasted many years Cro and seedlings did shoot up all over the place then everything just died .... I think that plants just come to the end of their natural life .. I never mind that if we've had years of pleasure from it. I can then plant something else and the garden has a different look. I bet one of your supermarkets has sumac Frances .... after all, we are very culinary savvy in Hertfordshire, aren't we ?!!!!!! Haha. XXXX

      Delete
  13. We have sumacs here in Ontario. They tend to grow a bit like weeds at roadsides. They are beautiful in the fall. I think a type of tea can be made from the fuzzy clusters of berries. -Jenn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the flowers/berries can be soaked in water, then filtered, to make a type of soft drink. I haven't tried it.

      Delete
  14. in Eastern Europe they use it in a lot of cooking, for instance Pike with sumac. it takes some of the earthy taste away

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it would take more than Sumac to make Pike palatable!

      Delete
  15. Beautiful colors! This is the first time I've ever heard of eating sumac powder, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not an earth shattering experience, it's more for the Lemony flavour and its colour than anything.

      Delete
  16. I have not even seen any Sumac powder to buy Cro - what does it taste like? I love the tree and used to have one in my garden.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It tastes Lemony. Not much else to say about it

      Delete
  17. That brilliant color is a joy to behold. Just last week, waiting in a cashiers' queue at the grocery shop, I overhead two folks behind me talking about ... Sumac, and I realized it was something I'd never used on its own, but somehow think the powder might have been part of a mixed spice I use. Yes, indeed it's part of Zahtar, along with sesame seed and thyme. It was recommended to me by a friend whose family came from Armenia. It's good to add to stews, and can be found sprinkled on Near Eastern flat breads. Small world we live in, particularly in the kitchen!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've only had Zaatar (Zahtar) once. I was invited to a Lebanese girl's dinner party in Paris, and she produced tiny pizzas with just Zahtar as toppings. They were totally delicious.

      Delete
  18. Zhatar is a plant,we have it here growing wild, it has a special smell and it is tasty as a topping indeed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Zahtar I know is a Middle Eastern mix of spices, of which Sumac is one.

      Delete
    2. I use Zahtar believe it not. I put it in everything meaty and stewy if you know what mean.

      Delete
  19. our old sumac died a few years ago..but the roots have produced a new tree ...growing very quickly...I didn't know that there could be spice? from it...love this thought...I missed the colour for a few years and now it's back...hooray!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think they're quite difficult to get rid of, once they're established. The tree could be more useful than you'd thought!

      Delete
  20. One of the times we moved house, years ago, we inherited one or two in the garden and ended up with a small forest ! The Autumn colours were so stunning that we hadn't the heart to dig them up. Didn't realise it had culinary uses too - you learn something new every day !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They spread very quickly. I keep having to mow around ours to keep them back.

      Delete
  21. No, but here is a tip. Take a head of the berries and steep in hot water then remove. It tastes like lemonade and is even pink.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I shall try that today. I presume any 'red' Sumac variety will do.

      Delete
    2. It looks just like yours. The berries are fuzzy. It really was used for lemonade before our time.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...