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Sumac is a shrub that can grow up to 3 meters high. The leaves are pinnate and small dark red berries grow on them. The shrub comes from the wig tree family and blooms during the months of June and July. The berries have a bright red color and tastes like lemon, which makes it a unique spice.
The sumac plant grows on a dry, rocky soil in the Mediterranean, such as in Turkey. Verstegen's sumac also comes from here because of the unique taste and color of the berries. The sumac from Turkey has a bright red color and a sweet taste.
Sumac is often used as a substitute for lemon/vinegar. In Turkey, the spice is mainly used as a garnish. Furthermore, sumac is widely used in Iranian, Iraqi, Aramean and Kurdish cuisine. You can use it to flavor a piece of lamb, chicken or fish. Or add it to salads for a refresher.