Could Sumac Catch On?

Sumac is packed with antioxidants.

 

What is Sumac?

It’s a spice derived from wild berry flowers that’s rich in antioxidants. A longtime staple in Middle Eastern and South Asian cooking, sumac is growing more popular, even making its way into baked goods.

Sumac by the Numbers

Menu penetration increased 34% from 2015 to 2017

With 19% of consumers saying superfood claims increase the likelihood they’ll order a dish or beverage, sumac is great addition to health-minded bakery offerings.

Bake with Sumac

Sumac tastes tangy and fruity, and it adds a reddish-purple hue to baked goods. Unlike other spices, sumac’s flavor dulls as it’s heated. For an even, rich color and invigorating lemony flavor, mix sumac with dry ingredients as you’re preparing the batter for treats like cookies. For a stronger, more aromatic taste, use the spice sparingly to dust finished desserts.

Early Adopters

New York City’s Golda has combined sumac with hibiscus to create a cake glaze. And Chef Jeff Mahin of Lettuce Entertain You restaurant group created a sumac donut by folding the spice and brown sugar into brioche dough. He then glazed the donut with vanilla bean-sumac icing.