Sumac is a spice that often appears in Middle Eastern and North African cuisines. It has a tart, lemony flavor and can provide an extra “zing” to meats, poultry, fish, rice, and grains. People also use it to make a condiment called za’atar.
This spice tastes great in both savory and sweet dishes. People dry and ground the berries to make a powder for most recipes. Sumac can also make a refreshing drink called sumac-ade.
People often combine sumac with other spices such as thyme, oregano, and marjoram to create their flavor profile. Use it in place of lemon or lime juice. Sumac is a great way to add a burst of tart flavor to your dish.
But, where can you find it if you need it for a recipe?
You can find sumac in the spice section of the grocery store. If you don’t see sumac in the spice aisle, look in the International Foods section. While checking out the International Foods section, look specifically for Middle Eastern foods – sumac won’t be far!
If you prefer to buy your sumac inside a store, check out Whole Foods, Health Stores, Safeway, Kroger, and Middle Eastern Markets.
Whole Foods has a great selection of spices and international items. Check the spice aisle when you go there. It’s one of the best places for hard-to-find spices, so if you’re having trouble finding sumac elsewhere, your local Whole Foods could be the safest place to look.
This nationwide chain of grocery stores normally has sumac in the spice aisle. The store carries sumac brands such as Morton & Bassett, Ziyad, and Pereg.
Most Walmart stores across the country will carry sumac in the spice aisle. But, if you live in a more rural area that doesn’t have a Super Walmart, you might not find the same availability.
If you have any health foods store near you, they will probably carry sumac in some form. Sumac is packed with antioxidants and some people swear by it to maintain their overall health and well-being. Try looking in the spice section or international foods aisle.
A Middle Eastern grocery store is a great option to locate this spice in its purest form. If you’re willing to do some digging in specific parts of the country, you’ll find some of the best sumac the U.S. has to offer at the following Middle Eastern markets.
If you live in or visit the New York area, stop at Kalustyan’s. The store has been around since 1944 and sells a wide selection of items such as grains, spices, beans, extracts, and more. You can also shop online for their products.
This Arab-American market is located in Brooklyn, New York. They sell a variety of items such as nuts, olives, pita bread, and of course, spices. You can also purchase their products online.
This store has been around since 1959. You can visit locations in Michigan and Lebanon. It is also a good resource for online sumac purchases.
This store has imported Middle Eastern and Mediterranean foods to the U.S for over 50 years. They started in 1966 in Chicago and also sell products on Amazon.
You may also want to try your luck at an Asian grocery store. They usually carry a variety of spices from all over the world and sometimes include Middle Eastern flavors in their selection.
If you’re looking for a variety of sumac brands, Amazon is a great place to shop. Get sumac by Sadaf, Simply Organic, or Spice Hunter. On Amazon, you can find sumac in ground form, whole berries, and seasoning combinations. Tazah sells it in a one-pound container, so you won’t run out any time soon!
You can buy sumac in bulk through Walmart’s online store. It comes in 1oz, 4oz, 1lbs, 10lbs, and 25lbs increments. The 25-pound option is the most economical if you plan on using sumac regularly in your cooking.
This company has been in the food business since 1906. They sell a variety of items such as spices, grains, pasta, and more. You can order sumac from their website in both whole and ground form.
Buy sumac online in small containers, single packs, or in-ground bulk from Kalamala. They also have seasonings such as Shish Kabob and Ground Meat Kabob seasoning that contain sumac if you want a more subtle introduction to the spice.
This online store has a variety of spices and sells sumac in both ground and whole form.
When substituting sumac, try to focus on herbs that can provide a citrusy tartness. Be mindful of using proper proportions so that your dish doesn’t become too sour.
If you can’t find sumac by itself, look for Za’atar. This spice mix usually contains sumac, thyme, and sesame seeds.
This pod-like fruit has a sour, fruity taste that makes it popular all over the world. It comes from Africa and Asia and is a common spice in Thai and Indian cuisine. You can find it in the ethnic food aisle of most grocery stores.
A common kitchen staple, lemons add tartness (and vitamin C) to dishes. Try using lemon zest by itself or in combination with black pepper. A lemon pepper seasoning is the best way to use lemon to mimic sumac.
Similar to lemon, limes can also provide a tart flavor, especially when combined with other ingredients like salt and pepper.
If you are looking for an acidic component in your dish, vinegar can be a great substitute for sumac that is inexpensive and easy to find. While it won’t give the same flavor profile as sumac, it will provide the tartness you’re looking for, and can be used in a pinch if sumac isn’t the main component of a recipe.