A Sumac Shrub.

A Sumac Shrub.

A Sumac Shrub

Sumacs are dioecious shrubs and small trees in the family Anacardiaceae that can reach a height of 1–10 m (3.3–32.8 ft). The leaves are usually pinnately compound, though some species have trifoliate or simple leaves. The flowers are in dense panicles or spikes 5–30 cm (2.0–11.8 in) long, each flower very small, greenish, creamy white or red, with five petals. The fruits are reddish, thin-fleshed drupes covered in varying levels of hairs at maturity and form dense clusters at branch tips, sometimes called sumac bobs.



Fruits are also used to make a traditional "pink lemonade" beverage by steeping them in water, straining to remove the hairs that may irritate the mouth or throat, sometimes adding sweeteners such as honey or sugar. Most Rhus species contain only trace amounts of vitamin C and none should be considered a dietary source of this nutrient. In comparative research, the fruits of Rhus coriaria were found to contain the highest levels of ascorbic acid at approximately 39 mg/kg. (It therefore takes three pounds (1.36 kg) or more of sumac fruits to match the vitamin C content of a single average lemon, at over 50 mg.) Sumac's tart flavor comes from high amounts of malic acid.In Arab cuisine, it is used as a garnish on meze dishes such as hummus and tashi, it is also commonly added to falafel. Syria uses the spice also, it is one of the main ingredients of Kubah Sumakieh in Aleppo of Syria, it is added to salads in the Levant, as well as being one of the main ingredients in the Palestinian dish musakhan.

In Afghan, Armenian, Bangladeshi, Iraqi, Indian, Iranian, Mizrahi, and Pakistani cuisines, sumac is added to rice or kebab. In Armenian, Azerbaijani, Central Asian, Syrian, Jordanian, Lebanese, Israeli, Turkish cuisine and Kurdish, it is added to salads, kebab and lahmajoun. Rhus coriaria is used in the spice mixture za'atar.The leaves and bark of most sumac species contain high levels of tannins and have been used in the manufacturing of leather by many cultures around the world. The Hebrew name og ha-bursaka'im means "tanner's sumac", as does the Latin name of R. coriaria. The leaves of certain sumacs yield tannin (mostly pyrogallol-type), a substance used in vegetable tanning. Notable sources include the leaves of R. coriaria, Chinese gall on R. chinensis, and wood and roots of R. pentaphylla. Leather tanned with sumac is flexible, light in weight, and light in color. One type of leather made with sumac tannins is morocco leather. (Source;en.wikipedia.org)



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