The villages of Bulgaria are full of Sumac trees. They are an invasive tree and many see them as an unwanted pest. But when life gives you Sumac, make Sumac-ade. In some places in the States they called “lemonade berries”.
- Harvest the red berries after flowering and before seed set. Sumac is high in water soluble vitamins B and C so if it rained recently, they could have been washed out and the acidic tasting nutrition could be really weak so you have to catch it while it’s plump and moist. Typically this would be towards the end of August.
- You take the whole seed head or fruit cluster, put it in cheesecloth and put it in cold water pitcher, leave in sun for a few hours and then remove the berries. Or you can skip the cheesecloth method and just stain the berries out before drinking.
- Add sweetener of choice to strength of choice. Drink and be healthy.
Sumac is in the same plant family as cashews and mangoes, so if you have reactions to either please avoid this berry. If you are not going to use immediate, dry and store in a cool place and use berries as needed. You can grind the berries and it makes a spice. When mixed with a combination of other herbs you can use it on breads or meats.
1/4 cup sumac
2 tablespoons thyme
1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
2 tablespoons marjoram
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon coarse salt