I recently had a conversation with a coworker about the stand of staghorn sumac behind my home. She asked if I used it in cooking. I said no but was aware that a cultivar of sumac was used generously in Middle Eastern cooking.
My primary reason for its continued cultivation was as a food source for those who share the gardens
and the visual appeal they provide for the human creatures who wander through.
But if you’re wondering about sumac as a spice…
Sumac is a shrub which grows wild in the Mediterranean region, and this sumac is not toxic or poisonous. This non-poisonous variety also grows in other areas around the world and can be a colorful addition to home landscaping.Ground sumac is a dark red-burgundy color. As a dried berry, ground sumac has a nutty texture when used dry. It has a tart, sour lemon taste.
The use of sumac came to Greece from the Middle East where it is more widely used. In Greek cooking, sumac is used as a rub for grilled meats, and as a flavoring most notably on meats, in stews, and in pita wraps. It is also used in rice and vegetable dishes. Try adding a dash to the top of humus for a new taste treat. from: greekfood.about.com