What is sumac or sumac, a rich Lebanese spice that, if you’re wrong, is poisonous
Rhus, sumac or sumac is a spice that many equate to turmeric, both for adding flavor and for its nutritional contributions. But you must be careful …
The zumaque It is frequently used in recipes from countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel. But in recent years we are incorporating all kinds of exotic ingredients and spices into Western cuisine, and it has become all the rage.
It shares a genus with 250 other plant species, and there are different varieties that are grown in temperate and subtropical regions, especially in Asia and Africa.
As our colleague Andrea Núñez-Torrón tells us in TICbeat, exists a variety of sumac that is poisonous, the Toxicodendron vernix. It is easily distinguished because its leaves and fruits are white, while edible sumac is orange or reddish.
Still the standard sumac when green is also poisonous, that’s why It is not advisable to plant it or take it if it is not reddish in color. Logically, the sumac that they sell in stores it is perfectly edible.
And what is this spice used for? Mainly for season meats, fish, rice and salads. It is very tasty and appreciated in many cuisines. The Romans already used it to replace vinegar or lemon.
Beyond its status as a spice, nutritionists try to find out if it also provides health benefits.
A 2014 study found that dried sumac is made up of about 71% carbohydrates, 19% fat, and 5% protein. Of course, all your fat is healthy, as it includes oleic acid, which benefits the heart, and linoleic acid, essential for maintaining healthy skin and cell membranes.
Sumac is also rich in antioxidant compounds, helps regulate blood sugar balance, and even is able to relieve muscle pain.
If you want to try it, nowadays it is very easy to find. You have it on Amazon in bags of 125 gamos per about 7.5 euros.