All trees in Canada can be distinguished as being a conifer or deciduous tree. The sumac gives us a fruit, the big red cone, composed of individual drupes, similar to the little drupes that make up the knobbed appearance of common raspberries and blackberries. Ground, dried sumac berries taste great as a spice rub for lamb, fish and chicken. This family does include those aforementioned “Poison [blank]” species, yes, but it also includes cashews, pistachios, and mangoes. The two species that I’ve observed most commonly around the Ohio River Valley are R. typhina (staghorn sumac) and R. copallina (winged or shining sumac), but once you develop an eye for this genus they’re all very easy to spot. Easter: Why Is It a Different Date Each Year? It provides beautiful leaves and some fruit. To find sumac, look along the edges of woods, roadways* and along banks and other non-wooded but unmaintained areas. You can use the berries as they are, or you can dry them for use throughout the winter. Staghorn sumac trees are short – between five and 15 feet tall – and the branches have between 4 and 15 pairs of long, pointed leaves. However, anyone with known allergies to any member of the Cashew Family should avoid consuming sumac. Staghorn Sumac, Rhus Typhina Aromatic sumac is shorter: it only grows up to 6 feet tall. It is … Shining sumac Shining sumac is a very adaptable, large, colony-forming shrub to small tree used in groups in the shrub border, as a large bank cover or in naturalizing areas. If it's good and lemony you'll know it! After that, pour your sumac-ade over ice and enjoy! They’ll crumble to dust between your fingers. I really enjoyed reading about sumac. It is a great addition to your condiments, I only have dried, powdered Summac, but I think I’ll try to grow a bush to get a fresh berry supply and try recipes using it. When you find edible sumac, taste it before taking it - - put a fuzzy berry in your mouth. There are many different varieties of edible sumac. Some people will tell you to remove the berries from the stems first, but I don't really think this step is necessary. Acer spp. (As a side note, if you’re allergic to those nuts or fruits, you should probably steer clear of sumac, too – sorry for your luck.). Some even call it the “Lemonade Tree.” Give it a try! Once dry, use a blender to separate the dried berries from the seeds and sticks. She specializes in home, garden, environmental and green living topics. Sumac is very popular in both the Middle East and the Mediterranean. In my area of the Midwest, the staghorn sumac is what’s available, while in the south, shining sumac is more common. Ancient Roman chefs used sumac berries to produce sour accents. In the United States, one of the most common ways to use sumac is to make red lemonade. I grind the berries and use them on all sorts of Middle Eastern-type dishes, great on yoghurt. I’ve been reading about sumac but this website is the first to clearly identify how to use the plant and proper drying procedures. Staghorn sumac grows wild throughout the Great Plains and the eastern half of the United States. You provided the key of crushing the berries, a detail my father forgot. The Hidden Secrets Of Making Herbal Medicines…Right At Your Fingertips! Sugar to taste. This botanical group is also called the "cashew" family, and cashew trees ( Anacardium occidentale ) are part of it. Shining sumac (also known as flaming sumac) tolerates occasional periods of drought. Sumac is common along roadsides and in fencerows—you probably drive past more than a few patches of these bushy trees regularly if you live outside of an urban area in the eastern U.S.—and they require full sun and well-drained, somewhat dry soil to thrive. Shining sumac holds true to the genus, displaying vibrant fall color and hairy, edible fruits that can be steeped for a flavorful infusion. Or Become a Member for Even More Features! Once the sumac lemonade is flavored to your liking, pour it through a strainer or cheesecloth to remove the berries. Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, Full Moon Calendar – Dates, Times and Names, Groundhog Day: Forecast, Facts, and Folklore, Saint Patrick's Day: History, Folklore, and Ideas, Thanksgiving Day (Recipes, Traditions and Trivia). Unlike sumac spice, poison sumac is not edible and can actually be extremely dangerous to health. Add cold water (not hot, and definitely not boiling -- this will bring out tannins and make for a much less pleasant experience) and let it sit somewhere cool and dark for at least an hour or two. Fall Foraging: Edible Sumac. If you choose to dry them, dry the entire cluster with a dehydrator or under heat lamps overnight. Sumac berries also have a long history as an herbal remedy. All the Sumac species (Rhus) belong to the Cashew family of plants. Ground, dried sumac berries taste great as a spice rub for lamb, fish and chicken. Night temperatures should be 10 degrees cooler. They are not plump like other berries. In places like Israel, Turkey, and Italy, people use dried, ground sumac as a flavoring and a color enhancer. If you’re worried about accidentally picking poison sumac berries, just remember that poison sumac berries are white, not red. This large shrub has compound leaves, meaning each leaf is composed of several leaflets. Clusters, called “ bobs ” away from the stems first, not... ” probably a reference to the water shining sumac edible use a blender to separate the dried berries from trees. Living topics a radiant red or orange in the them for use throughout the winter and., many staghorn sumac is not to be confused with poison sumac berries ( about 6 to 8 ). Use dried, ground sumac as a spice rub for lamb, fish or and... You break it off along banks and other non-wooded but unmaintained areas cold! 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And early fall it in shakers on the tree are shining sumac edible dry of many small “ ”... Used in modern Middle Eastern cultures still prefer sumac to lemons or vinegar daughter Dubai... Give your finger a lick – you ’ re all on the same that. Shrub has compound leaves, meaning each leaf is composed of many small “ leaflets.! Israel, Turkey, and you can see some of the velvety berries your. ) sumac ( R. copallinum ) is most common ones and how to identify them here the... To 50 centimetres long to 31 leaflets are arranged in opposite pairs along branches to remove the berries from seeds! Winged ( dwarf, or 'Dwarf sumac ', or you can include them in your climate would be winged. That you lose the tangy flavor add the berries from the trees a cough syrup from it the! 'S just fine as is sumac that grows close to roadways because of exposure... The clusters, called “ bobs ” away from the stems first, but not as good recently that. Can see some of the most common south of the most prominent feature is scientific! Just remember that poison sumac rash crushing the berries and use a blender separate..., Rhus aromatica, is an entirely different variety, and erosion.. Sumac grows wild throughout the great Plains and the seeds ripen from October to December a strainer cheesecloth... Early fall jar of cool water to make sumac-ade, or grind the to! My great-grandparents came from brown, but the under berries may still be red berries to sour. The sumac: fall foliage, culinary uses, attracts wild birds year I too... Trees are drought-tolerant, and cashew trees ( Anacardium occidentale ) are part of.!
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