Sumac is any one of approximately 250 species of flowering plants in the genus Rhus and related genera, in the family Anacardiaceae. Sumacs grow in subtropical and temperate regions throughout the world, especially in Africa and North America. The fruits (drupes) of the genus Rhus are ground into a deep-red or purple powder used as a spice. Sumacs are shrubs and small trees that can reach a height of 3.3–33 ft. The fruits (drupes) of the genus Rhus are ground into a deep-red or purple powder used as a spice.
In Middle Eastern cuisine, ground sumac is used to add a lemony taste to salads or meat. In Arab cuisine, it is used as a garnish on meze dishes such as hummus and is added to salads in the Levant. In Iranian (Persian and Kurdish) cuisine, sumac is added to rice or kebab. In Turkish cuisine, it is added to salad-servings of kebabs and lahmacun. Rhus coriaria is used in the spice mixture za’atar.