The local sumac is made from the fruits of the tanner's sumach tree (Rhus coriaria). Its use is especially common here, in the Middle East, where it grows naturally in the Mediterranean woodlands.
The lemon-flavored spice is most often used in meat and chicken dishes and in salads, especially with onions. It is also added to the spice mixture of which the Zaatar is composed.
In order to extract the spice from the tree, the ripe fruits of the plant are crushed into a thin powder with a reddish-oval hue. I prefer to grind the fruits before using them, so I offer you whole and not as a powder. If you want a powder, write me a note and I will crush the Sumac for you.
Try soaking the fruits in hot water, letting the water cool and using the juice as you use lemon juice. I like to make some kind of pink lemonade this way, with some mint, honey and ice.
Anyone who has been to my workshop will surely remember that the third rule of Fatush salad requires sumac and zaatar to give it its special and wonderful flavor, do not forget to crush it!
To give the spice the respect it deserves, lets make a Mesahan: fry a lot of chopped onion in a generous amount of olive oil. Do this leisurely, over a low flame until the onion is translucent. Then add a fair amount of crushed sumac and a little salt and remove from the heat. Take juicy chunks of chicken (preferably with bone, possibly whole chicken as well) and grease them with olive oil, crushed sumac, black pepper and some salt. Roast in a hot grill until browned and ready to eat. In the last five minutes of roasting, prepare a large pita with all the onions you have prepared on it. Put the pan in the bottom of the oven. When everything is ready transfer the pita and onion to a serving plate. Place the chicken on top and sprinkle with pine nuts and parsley.
As you probably know, Perishable products cannot be returned. Nevertheless, if you are not happy with your order, contact me. All products other than food can be returned or replaced within 14 days after receiving.