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What is sumac? 

Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross

 What is sumac? I have a recipe that calls for it, but it is not at my grocery store. 

Sumac is a spice, used mostly in Middle Eastern cooking, that has a lovely tart mild lemon flavor. The deep red berries are most often used ground into a powder. I often sprinkle it over a platter of grilled vegetables or roasted chicken; it looks as appealing as it tastes.

You can get sumac at specialty Middle Easter shops, or on line from a number of specialty spice producers, such as The Spice House and Penzeys. Amazon also carries a number of brands of sumac.

These Persian Street Vendor Kebabs are one example of a recipe that uses sumac.