WARNING: the foods we cook for Abby are safe for her, but not necessarily for everyone. Please confirm any ingredients are safe for you before using in your diet. Food Allergies can kill and the best policy is complete avoidance. Read this post for more info.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sumac

I am always looking for another way to add some nutritional value to Abby's food.

Right now, we seem to running out of foods to trial, but we have a lot of herbs that we can still try.


I stumbled across Sumac on Amazon. My first thought was why eat an invasive plnat related to poison Ivy? But Sumac the spice though related isn't the same and is perfectly safe.

The spice Sumac is actually the dried berries. Quite popular in Mediterranean cooking.

Of course I ordered it and plan to try it with her. Below is a few snips of information I found on flavor, nutrition etc.

Via The Epicentre

What is Sumac?

Sumac comes from the berries of a wild bush that grows wild in all Mediterranean areas, especially in Sicily and southern Italy, and parts of the Middle East, notably Iran. It is an essential ingredient in Arabic cooking, being preferred to lemon for sourness and astringency. Many other varieties of sumac occur in temperate regions of the world. In North America Rhus glabra is known for its use in the tanning industry and for its medicinal properties. Also in North Americai is the related Rhus toxicodendron (poison ivy) which can cause a severe skin reaction when touched.

Spice Description

The berries are dried and crushed to form a coarse purple-red powder. The whole fruit appears in dense clusters. Individual berries are small, round, 10 mm (1/4”) in diameter, russet coloured and covered with hairs.
Bouquet: Slightly aromatic.
Flavour: Sour, fruity and astringent
Hotness Scale: 1

Preparation and Storage

The berries can be dried, ground and sprinkled into the cooking, or macerated in hot water and mashed to release their juice, the resulting liquid being used as one might use lemon juice. Ground sumac keeps well if kept away from light and air.

Cooking with Sumac

Sumac is used widely in cookery in Arabia, Turkey and the Levant, and especially in Lebanese cuisine. In these areas it is a major souring agent, used where other regions would employ lemon, tamarind or vinegar. It is rubbed on to kebabs before grilling and may be used in this way with fish or chicken.

The juice extracted from sumac is popular in salad dressings and marinades and the powdered form is used in stews and vegetable and chicken casseroles. “The seed of Sumach eaten in sauces with meat, stoppeth all manner of fluxes of the belly…” (Gerard, 1597) A mixture of yogurt and sumac is often served with kebabs.

Za’atar is a blend of sumac and thyme use to flavour labni, a cream cheese made from yogurt.

Substitute for Sumac

Lemon zest with a little salt makes a reasonable stand-in for sumac.

Health Benefits of Sumac

The berries have diuretic properties, and are used in bowel complaints and for reducing fever. In the Middle East, a sour drink is made from them to relieve stomach upsets.

Plant Description and Cultivation

A bushy shrub of the Anacardiaceae family, reaching to 3m (10 ft). It has light gray or reddish stems which exude a resin when cut. Young branches are hairy. The leaves are hairy on the underside. In autumn the leaves turn to a bright red. White flowers are followed by conical clusters of fruit, each enclosed in a reddish brown hairy covering.

Easily propagated by seed, sumac grows best in poor soils. In Sicily, where it is widely cultivated and grows wild in the mountains, its quality is found to increase proportionately the higher it is sited.

Other Names

Elm-leafed Sumac, Sicilian Sumac, Sumach, Sumak, Summak, Tanner’s Sumach

This link is great too- the fact that it mentions restrain with kidney disease might slow me down from trying it on Abby- at least as a medicinal.

Mountain Rose Herbs:
Sumac Berry and Powder Profile
Also known as
Rhus aromatica and coriaria, Fragrant Sumac, and Sweet Sumac. Not to be confused with other poisonous varieties.

Introduction
Sumac as a spice comes from the berries of a wild bush that is native in all Mediterranean areas, especially in Sicily and southern Italy, and parts of the Middle East, notably Iran. It has also been naturalized to most of the United States, and was known to Native Americans. Sour and astringent, sumac berries are used in place of lemon peel in Lebanese and Turkish cooking. Sumac juice is added to salad dressings and marinades and the powdered form is used in stews and vegetable and chicken casseroles. A mixture of yogurt and sumac is often served with kebabs. Zather is a blend of sumac and thyme use to flavor labni, a cream cheese made from yogurt. The sumac is a relative of poison ivy its leaves can cause painful skin reactions but its berries do not.

Constituents
Calcium maleate, fatty oils, tannins, anthocyanins, and organic acids (malic, citric, and tatric acid plus smaller amounts of succinic, maleic, fumaric and ascorbic acid).

Parts Used
Berries, either used whole or dried and crushed to make a reddish-purple powder.

Typical Preparations
Usually used in cooking. Whole berries can be soaked in warm water for 2 hours and then mashed to release a lemon-like juice. Or the berries can be freshly ground and sprinkled in dishes directly.

Summary
Sumac berries are gently diuretic and laxative. In Arabic and Unani herbal medicine, sumac is used in herbal combinations to reduce fever. The Romans used the juice to add a tart flavoring to foods, and to treat digestive complaints. Native Americans and Appalachian settlers used sumac for a number of medicinal purposes, including fevers, colds, and skin diseases. The bark was used for basket weaving, and the leaves, seeds, roots and berries for making different colored dyes for cloth.

Precautions
Not recommended for those with a history of liver or kidney conditions. Make sure to distinguish between edible sumac and the poisonous varieties. Poison sumac has white berries, while edible sumac berries are red.

0 comments:

Post a Comment

 
Copyright 2009 Abby Mito. Powered by film izle film izle favoriblog blogger themes izle harbilog jigolo