Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

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Sumac is the small, dried, purplered berry of a shrubby relative (Rhus coriaria) of the cashew and mango trees, a native of southwest Asia. Sumac is unusual for being very tart (from malic and other acids), astringent (from abundant tannins, to 4% of its weight), and aromatic, with pine, woody and citrus notes. Sumac is ground and added to a number of savory dishes in the Middle East and North Africa.