View Full Version : sumac

08-12-2008, 06:49 PM
Had the opportunity to try sumac-ade a week ago. Filled a pot with sumac berries, covered with cold water for an hour or so, strained through a towel, added some sugar and ice. Yummy! Now I need to get back out in the woods and find some more. I see it all over on the roadsides here but will pass on the exhaust fume version of the drink.


ps obviously this is *not* from poison sumac

08-12-2008, 08:38 PM
Oh, I thought this was going to be a post about Mrs. Mc.

Ole WV Coot
08-12-2008, 09:45 PM
Glad I didn't kick in for flowers.

08-13-2008, 09:43 AM
Did you have to crush the berries first before adding water?

08-13-2008, 09:50 AM
A sumac recipe from my mom.
Grilled cornish game hens with lemon, sumac, and date relish.
The innerds of the dish.
9 cups water
1 cup fresh lemon juice, divided
1/2 cup coarse kosher salt
5 1 1/4- to 11/2-pound Cornish game hens, cut lengthwise in half, backbone removed
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons ground sumac*
4 garlic cloves, peeled
10 very thin lemon slices

Combine 9 cups water, 1/2 cup lemon juice, and coarse salt in large nonreactive pot. Stir until salt dissolves. Add hen halves and press to submerge. Refrigerate hens in brine, weighing down with heavy plate if needed, at least 6 hours and up to 1 day.
Whisk 1/2 cup lemon juice, oil, and sumac in medium bowl. Press in garlic cloves; season with pepper. Let dressing stand 15 minutes to thicken slightly, whisking occasionally.
Drain hens. Pat dry with paper towels; arrange on large rimmed baking sheet. Using fingertips, loosen skin of breast meat on each hen half. Brush some dressing under skin onto breast meat of each hen; place lemon slice onto breast meat and pull skin over to cover. Brush hens all over with remaining dressing. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Place hens, skin side up, on grill rack. Cover and grill until bottom sides are brown, about 8 minutes. Turn hens over; grill uncovered until skin sides brown, about 6 minutes. Continue to grill until hens are cooked through, turning occasionally, about 9 minutes longer. Transfer hens to platter.

Mom made this growing up and it is good.

08-13-2008, 09:10 PM
Did you have to crush the berries first before adding water?

nope. Just took one of the big clusters and broke it up into smaller clusters to see about liberating any bugs. Don't wash it, the flavor is on the outside. Don't use hot water either or you'll get more of the tannic acid and it will be bitter and maybe give an upset stomach.

A friend showed me this recently.

08-20-2008, 09:40 PM
Yep Sumac is a wonderful drink. I also eat the seeds, in late winter when the
vitimin C is long gone. Before i eat them, i roast them to break down the velvet
that clings to the tiny seeds. All is edible, some of my friends dont like the
black powder of the velvet so they remove it from the seeds. that doesn't
bother me though. I grind seed and velvet togather(Yea it tasts ok)
Sumac is an important winter food source, One that I happily make use of!
signed; Eugene.

08-21-2008, 09:15 AM
Try mixing Sumac with thyme and sesame seeds to make a spice mixture called Za'atar. It's a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine. You can even use roasted sesame seeds and/or add a bit of salt. Here's a recipe I looked up for Za'atar

Za'atar-Tomato Appetizer
2 Tablespoons dried thyme
1 Tablespoon sumac
2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 Chickpea Flatbread or other fresh flatbread

In a small container with a lid, shake together the thyme, sumac, sesame seeds and salt.

Cut each of the cherry tomatoes in half placing them into a medium bowl as you go. Sprinkle with one tablespoon of the zaatar; toss well. Taste and add more of the seasoning, in small increments, until you have what you consider a tasty concoction. Serve right away along with the flatbread allowing diners to pile the tomatoes onto the bread for themselves.

Makes enough for 4 to 6, depending on serving size.

08-21-2008, 10:14 AM
I should try that. Did you use smooth sumac?

08-28-2008, 08:36 PM
I finally tried the stuff, and now I'm hooked. Its like a mild lemony tea, and if you prefer sweet tea, a pinch of sugar takes away the slight sourness. Delicious, easy to identify and prepare, and quite common, I'd say its an excellent summer treat or survival drink.

08-28-2008, 09:55 PM
I should try that. Did you use smooth sumac?

I can't speak for the others, but yes, I used smooth sumac. I was going to try some winged sumac but it wasn't quite ready and I suspect that by now with a bunch of rain this week that the taste is washed off.

You can also eat the shoots of the sumacs (except the poisonous one). I don't much care for it but that would probably change if I were starving.


09-04-2008, 03:35 PM
Smooth sumac doesnt grow everywhere, probably the most common variety is staghorn
Sumac all are really good to drink and eat. Za'ater is ok, But the roasted sumac seed
has a delicate flavor so it doesnt overpower anything that is added to it. Its also in such abundance that it should not be overlooked as a foodstuff.

09-04-2008, 05:06 PM
At least in my area, in the twenty years and more I have never found a sumac head that wasn't chock full of tiny grubs and grub feces. Spread the seed head apart and take a really close look!

But, of course, it is just added protein so enjoy

09-04-2008, 05:14 PM
Its not easy to get good seed, the young pods with Vitamin c are sometimes ok. seperate sift then roast

09-04-2008, 05:43 PM
Man! You must have really good eyes to spot grub feces. Would I be looking for a ringer? A smoker? One really large birthright or a lot of little pooters?

09-04-2008, 05:47 PM
haha,when its dark outside and i'm hungry i dont look at the food so good.

hard county
09-07-2008, 05:48 PM
Sumac-ade is a delicous drink but I think the best tasting product made from these berries is the jelly.
(I use to boil the stuff and didnt really like like it until I discovered the drink was less bitter when soaked overnight in cold water.

09-07-2008, 07:09 PM
Well, I do have good eyes Rick. I can spot grub poop a mile away.

09-07-2008, 07:23 PM

(Grub to RR) Hey! Do you mind? I'm trying to go over here. Look some place else!!

09-07-2008, 08:33 PM
unfortunately that is not found to much around my parts that I know of. There is a good deal that you all have that I dont have down here, but im sure that goes vice-versa.