The brick- to dark purplered berries of a decorative bush that grows wild throughout the Middle East and in parts of Italy. Sumac, which is sold ground or in its dried-berry form, has a pleasantly fruity, astringent taste that complements everything from fish to meat to vegetables. Sumac can be found in Middle Eastern markets. See also spices.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.