Sumac

Sumac might be a word you’ve never heard but it’s my kind of secret ingredient.

Sumac is tart, lemony, tangy, with a vinegar-tinged flavor that gives it the pucker power that we all love in sourness. You might not know it because it’s most commonly found in middle eastern cuisines but trust me, a little bit of it does your flavor a big favor!  Try it and you’ve got yourself a versatile secret ingredient. Sumac isn’t really a spice because it comes from the fruit of the sumac flower which is a member of the cashew family. Go figure! But it’s the unusual flavor that makes it a winner. It’s got a citrusy bite but also a berry-like sweetness that just brightens up my sauces. Sumac is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory spices in the world. So that’s a little secret you need to know.

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"How do I choose flavors? I really don’t know. I started off with apricot because I like apricots. Then it becomes a game to see what other fruits would work. My wife likes strawberries, so I did some strawberry. It just comes to me."

HARVEY TANNENBAUM, ON PREFERENCES