Sumac leaves turn from their summer shades of bright yellow and green to red and orange in late summer to early fall signaling that it’s also time to start foraging. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, clean kitchen towel or coffee filter than sweeten to taste with … I pluck about six to eight average-sized clusters for a pitcher of sumac-ade. The staghorn sumac, named for the velvety covering on its new branches, similar to the velvet on a stags new antlers, is a common and widespread species of edible sumac. Their shape and large cone-like, dark red berry clusters are distinctive and their bright red autumn foliage is hard to forget. The petite, merci: MN Staghorn Sumac Lemonade and Kombucha! There are many ways to cook with both fresh and dried sumac. Please be aware that the yummy sour taste of sumac berries is due to their calcium oxalate content. Read More →, Inspired by the magic that happens when people gather around the table, connect with one another, and pursue their passions through all the stages of life, Fresh Flavorful was created in the Spring of 2013 (formerly ONE armed MAMA.com) helping others eat, entertain and adventure their way to a Fresh Flavorful Life. Staghorn sumac is a small tree or large shrub, usually eight to 20 feet tall although I’ve seen a few as tall as 35 feet. Use it in marinades, dressings, dips and sprinkled on top of all sorts of dishes. Lemonade Sumac ; Sourberry ; Rhus typhina: Staghorn Sumac; Rhus typhina 'Laciniata' Laceleaf Staghorn Sumac; Contact Info. If you desire a stronger tasting beverage, strain and then add … Allow to sit for half an hour, and strain. So simply remember: red berries good, white berries bad. Staghorn Sumac Germination. The Staghorn sumac was one of my favorite tree before I even learned to make sumac lemonade. Required fields are marked *, Welcome to Fresh Flavorful where you'll find easy recipes and simple ideas for eating, entertaining and adventuring your way to a fresh, flavorful life. Simply check to make sure mold or mildew hasn’t started to grow on the flower then taste to check for flavor. is a vine or shrub-like tree that grows wild across most of the united states. Foragers call … Well past fall but there’s still sumac on the tree? Sumac has a unique, tart flavor similar to lemon. Lightly floral, tart and refreshing it’s delicious as-is or used as a mixer in cocktails and mocktails. Sumac is a shrub or small tree that is common to much of the Great Lakes region and Michigan. Also, the young, thick, tender tips of sumac shoots (especially staghorn) in early summer can be peeled and eaten raw or cooked. Staghorn sumac trees with thick twigs and an almost tropical appearance are familiar to most country dwellers. A dark purple coloration usually indicates that the flavor of the fruit has developed fully, yet some of the best clusters I’ve tasted were light pink. Lemonade. The poison sumac Toxicodendron vernix is classified in a different genus (along with poison ivy and poison oak). Sumac bobs soaking for lemonade. They are extremely intolerant of shade and are rarely found in any type of mature forest. It’s probably the only reason I ever remember to go harvest them! Sumac is a wild plant that provides a nutritional drink and is easy to locate. The Ojibwa took a decoction of Fragrant Sumac root to stop diarrhea. How much is too much sumac lemonade? Recently, From backyard gardening to at home restaurant expe, Chai Buttered Rum // RECIPE below // Yet few people know that these little trees have provided a delicious and refreshing summer drink throughout much of the world for thousands of years. Its source is easily accessible to millions of Americans every summer. Staghorn sumac bark is smooth, thin, dark gray, and the inner bark, which is slightly sweet to chew on, is light green. Particularly good harvest? Required fields are marked *. Cut the bobs–the waxiest ones you can find–oozing the white stuff over the red [or purplish] drupes. The longer it brews the stronger and more intense the flavor. Staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) is a deciduous shrub or small tree that belongs to the Anacardiaceae family. Believe it or not, you can make the most refreshing summer beverage from these fuzzy sumac berry clusters! I spent many hours as a child in the calming shade of sumac domes, following rabbit runs in the short grass below or just listening to the birds, daydreaming and staring skyward. It tastes like a sqeeze or lemon or a splash of vinegar and adds that same essential ‘something’ that really makes dishes sing. By Sam Thayer – Sumac is a common, well-known and easily recognized feature of the rural North American landscape. Just look for the large red upright cone-shaped sumac flower, each with clusters of the edible, soft-to-the-touch sumac berries when the leaves are firey red. They are sweet and delicious, much like raspberry stalks. Anybody who tries to differentiate the two will have an easy time of it. It is made from a plant that is widely distributed throughout most of North America and easily identified. Remove all the leaves. If still flavorful, harvest and use as directed, washing well before using. Rhus typhina, the staghorn sumac, is a species of flowering plant in the family Anacardiaceae, native to eastern North America. Leave for up to 2 days before straining for maximum color. Yes, there is some debate among foragers and health professionals regarding the safety of consuming foods high in oxalic acid, such as spinach, chives, and cilantro, due to over consumption possibly forming calcium oxalate crystals and leading to kidney stones. Staghorn sumac or Rhus typhina grows throughout the northeastern U.S. and southeastern Canada. In most of North America, the first clusters are ready to be plucked sometime in July, with the prime time being in early August. sign up to get all recipes delivered straight to your inbox, November 9, 2019 by ONE armed MAMA 4 Comments. Sumac Instructions Place the sumac in a 1/2 gallon glass container. Smooth Sumac and Staghorn Sumac are common "roadside" plants in North America. As far as I can see sumac gets a bad wrap because of the poisonous WHITE-berried sumac and it’s relation to poison oak (also related to mangoes and cashews) and the issue with oxalic acid content is akin to worrying about consuming too much spinach, the health benefits generally outweigh any perceived risk. While driving last week to visit Maumee Bay State Park, I notice beautiful bright red Staghorn Sumac seed heads still attached to the branches, it reminded me of an old recipe for sumac lemonade. Sharing a genus with poison sumac (Rhus vernix) has unnecessarily blackballed staghorn sumac (R. typhina) from inclusion in many landscape plans. This and other species of true sumac usually grow in pure stands that propagate themselves by rhizomes. All in all, however, the sumac is a wonderful tree, deserving of much more attention from those who love the outdoors. The staghorn sumac plants produce a milky latex that will stain your clothes dark brown. Sumac’s citrusy flavor is great with chicken, fish, lamb and grains. I take my half-dozen berry clusters, cram them into a pitcher, pour cold water over them, crush them up a little with my hand, and then let the pitcher sit in a cool place for a while. Even though it’s best to harvest early before rain washes away color and flavor sumac can be harvested year round. Sumac Jelly: Take prepared juice and use the Sure-Jell recipe for elderberry jelly, 3 cups juice to 4.5 cups of sugar. Amazing free (grows on "weeds" in Ontario) ,delicious, and high in vitamin C. Collect the berries, soak in water for 24 hours, filter through two coffee filters. culinary uses and a TON of health benefits. There were large colonies of sumac growing in an abandoned field at the edge of the town where I grew up. To enjoy this refreshing summer beverage in the middle of winter, it pays to harvest the heads in prime time and dry them, so you don’t have to worry about using mediocre material. Staghorn sumac fruits can be used to prepare lemonade, all that has to be done is to prepare a decoction from the fruits. I usually just snap off the twig that bears the cluster by bending it quickly, although some people use pruning shears or a knife. The foliage of the Staghorn sumac closely resembles that of ailanthus (tree of heaven or stinktree) and black walnut. This is only a partial list, so wherever you are, you are probably near some useful species of sumac. It grows throughout eastern North America as a shrub with bright red terminal conic fruit clusters covered in red tart hairs (Figure 22.1).Rhus hirta fruit had the highest activity in all the assays tested for different types of antioxidant activity (McCune and Johns, 2002). (Laurel sumac Malosma laurina, found in the West, is not a true sumac and is reportedly not edible.). This shrub, which causes reactions even more readily and severely than its better-known brethren, is confined to the east. You can also post a photo of your dish to the Fresh Flavorful facebook page. A potential mistake is to harvest the berry heads before they are ripe, in which case they will produce an unpleasantly bitter brew. Sumac Lemonade brewed from foraged sumac berries and cool water tastes like lemonade without any lemons! Aside from its use as a spice, Sumac makes for an excellent and quite refreshing drink that rivals lemonade. The two can be easily distinguished: Poison sumac has large white berries, and Staghorn Sumac has much smaller red hairy berries. Pick away any sticks or other leaves that might be clinging to your sumac clusters then break apart and remove berries from the woody sticks. Sometimes a white, sticky substance coats the berry heads; this is pure essence of sumac flavor-don’t let it scare you off. My children snack on the sumac drupes and we eat a lot of meals flavored with za’atar as well as use sumac in other ways without issue. It’s Staghorn Sumac Tree Facts. In such a sumac clone the trees often have the habit of bearing leaves only at the canopy, so that when one ventures underneath he is struck with the impression of being under a gentle dome painstakingly coaxed into existence by some master gardener. Staghorn Sumac Those striking red berry clusters are edible!! Sumac has been used for centuries in the Middle East & Mediterranean as a flavoring & is what gives za’atar blends their zing! Cover with water and use your hands to agitate the water and the berries. When ready to serve top with sparking water for a sparkly pink foraged cocktail! This juice is made from either the staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) or … Our favorite way to use sumac is in lemonade. In late summer and early fall bright pink sumac clusters pop up on sumac trees growing wild all over North America, especially along the eastern United States. Place sumac berries large pitcher or shallow bowl and cover with water. You can expect to find good ones if you taste around, until early October and sometimes later and there are always those with just a hint of flavor. Staghorn Sumac is such a great tree that I think everyone should take a closer look at it. What a wonderful gift from nature we can harvest even in … It’s casually called “Sumac-Ade.” Consult a field guide for your region. There are numerous other species of sumac in North America, and at least one is found in almost every inhabited part of the continent. Why not try some this summer? The berries, roots, inner bark, and leaves of Smooth and Staghorn Sumac were used to make dyes of various colors. You can use the clumps right away for lemonade or dry them for later. One of the simplest ways to use it is to make Sumac Lemonade [recipe to follow] with fresh bobs, but it can also be dried & used as a spice. * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your email address will not be published. This beverage has been called sumac-ade, rhus-ade, sumac lemonade, Indian lemonade, sumac tea and probably some other names that I have yet to hear. In this video I go over how to identify the Staghorn Sumac and how to make Sumac Lemonade. Sumac Jello: Mix the prepared juice with unflavored gelatin per instruction on package. https://www.tngun.com/recipe-sumac-lemonaide-a-free-source-of-asorbic-acid Here’s a soil fact about sumacs: They require well-drained soil, and can thrive on dry sites. Also, I’ve seen many medical personnel recommend that people who easily form kidney stones should consume as little oxalate as possible, so sumac “lemonade” would be a “no-no” for those people. Keep in mind that my experiences refer to these species in the Midwest, and other kinds might need to be treated a little differently. These berries have a fuzzy look and feel. Staghorn Sumac and smooth sumac are hiding in plain sight! I cant believe how potent, viscous and delicious the resulting liquid is. For most people, in small amounts, this is not harmful, but in large amounts, can potentially be toxic. © 2021, Countryside - All Rights Reserved, Extract Natural Dye for Wool from Goldenrod Plants, Why Teach Classes on How to Knit, Spin, Weave or Felt, Countryside Machinery on the Homestead e-edition Flip Book. Stir thoroughly until honey is dissolved. They are quite unlike the berries of the edible sumacs, like staghorn sumac. Note: will keep for up to 3 days refrigerated. So good on popcorn at family movie nights! Staghorn Sumac Lemonade. Whatever people call it, they pronounce it delicious. My sister made one of the best wines that I have ever tasted from it. All I do is put a clump or two in a quart of cold water and let steep for 12 to 24 hours. More commonly, the problem is that the berries are collected long after their flavor has been washed out by rain. Unfortunately, the fact that it shares names with a tree of ill-repute has caused many to shun it. Also, people who are sensitive or allergic to mangoes, pistachios, and cashews are best advised to avoid sumac due to the fact that they are all related. Your email address will not be published. “Making the lemonade is simple. Euell Gibbons recommended using sumac-ade instead of plain water to boil elderberry and other fruits that need a touch of tartness to liven them up for using in jam or jelly. The leaves are large — sometimes more than two feet long — and compound, with each leaflet lanceolate and serrated. Just make sure to include steeping time in the total three day shelf life. How to make sumac lemonade: And sumac’s tart, citrusy berries have many Is staghorn sumac poisonous? Sumac “berries” are really just seeds covered with a thin coating of flavoring substance and hairs. Prairie sumac Rhus lanceolata occurs in Texas and parts of Oklahoma and New Mexico; Mearn’s sumac R. choriophylla grows in southern Arizona and New Mexico; lemonade berry R. integrifolia grows in southern California; shining sumac R. copallina is found over the southern half of eastern North America, smooth sumac R. glabra is found throughout the eastern U. S. and scattered in the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains; fragrant sumac R. aromatica and the very similar basket bush R. trilobata are found in mountainous or rocky situations from coast to coast, south into Mexico and north into Canada. Originally published in Countryside July / August 2003 and regularly vetted for accuracy. The longer the berries infuse, the stronger the drink will be. They are pioneer plants and quickly spread by rhizomes to colonize erosion prone areas. That does leave more for us, but either way, there’s plenty of sumac to go around. Pouring boiling or hot water over the berries makes for poor flavor, for it leaches tannin from the stems, causing the drink to become bitter. Be sure to follow @freshflavorful on instagram and tag me or use #onearmedmamacooks. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, clean kitchen towel or coffee filter than sweeten to taste with sweetener of your choice. https://www.iamcountryside.com/growing/staghorn-sumac-wild-lemonade-berry This concentrate made a wonderful and very tart jelly. They are amazing plants for pollinators and overlooked by almost everyone! Sumac berries (or “drupes” which is their proper label) are a wild treat that can be found in wooded areas all over... Rinse your sumac in cool water to remove any of the “outdoor elements” that might be clinging to them. Wild sumac is easily identified in autumn by its bright red compound leaves and cluster of red berries that form in a cone shape. The flavor is transformed and weakened somewhat by the boiling, so be sure to use a very strong sumac brew for the jelly. When I mention making a beverage from sumac, many people who have heard of poison sumac think I am crazy. O try my favorite sumac cocktail, the Sumac Spritzer. When the flavor is to your liking, just strain the drink through a cheesecloth to remove seeds and hairs. If you make this or any of my dishes, I'd love to know! Staghorn Sumac Tea - Top Health Benefits | All Natural Ideas It can be differentiated from true sumacs most readily by the fact that the berries are whitish, waxy, hairless, and hang in loose, grape-like clusters. Leave out the lemon juice. The Natchez used the Fragrant Sumac (Rhus aromatica) root to treat boils. Filed Under: beverages, eating, recipes Tagged With: eating seasonally, fall, foraging, sumac. There are other things that can be done with sumac-ade. I have only had it in fall when I was a child and thought this old recipe should be resurrected. Crush the berry clusters in the water using a sturdy spoon then allow sumac to soak for at least a few hours or overnight, the longer it soaks the more flavorful it will be. Poison sumac also differs in that it rarely grows in dense, pure stands, and in that it inhabits swamps rather than dry areas. Although I have found good-tasting berries into April, this is the exception; around here the vast majority of them are spent by the end of August. The tangy, acidic taste gave the tree its other common name: the vinegar tree. I once prepared a potent sumac concentrate by soaking four batches of berry heads in the same water, one after the other, for one-half hour each. Cover loosely with a coffee filter or tea towel. It shares the Latin name rhus with hundreds of other species, several of which are “poisonous,” but not lethal. The large clusters are so easy to collect that in just a few moments you can have enough for a pitcher of wild Kool-Aid that kids will love. Its fruits contain high doses of vitamin C and tannin compounds. Hi Mary, I am not a doctor and am not giving medical advice and can only speak to my own experience. Delicious as-is straight from the glass you could also use Sumac Lemonade as a base for other creations like sumac beer, wine, and kombucha.Or mix up sumac mocktails and cocktails. As previously mentioned, the red-berried true sumacs have been widely used to brew a tart and refreshing drink. https://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/sumac-lemonade-zmaz09jjzraw https://phillipsfarmbatavia.com/2017/08/20/staghorn-sumac-lemonade-and-jelly Personally, I’ve consumed an entire batch of sumac lemonade in one day by myself with no issues. The leaf edges of poison sumac are smooth, while those of the edible eastern sumacs are toothed. It’s okay! Stir 3–4 times per day. Easy to find in the wild with a flavor that can’t be matched staghorn sumac is a fabulous flavor and health-packed plant that can be used fresh or dry to add a bright note and beautiful pink hue to all sorts of dishes like this blush pink cold brewed tea ‘lemonade’. I have personally brewed this beverage from staghorn, smooth, and shining sumacs on many occasions. All of the true (edible) sumacs have dark reddish or purple fruit borne in erect, tight clusters. Notify me via e-mail if anyone answers my comment. It bears little resemblance to Staghorn sumac, in my mind, principally because poison sumac has white berries. It’s easy to remember. When made properly it is as universally liked as lemonade. The twigs are sparse and very thick, and the first-year growth is covered with velvety hairs (like a stag’s horns in velvet). Best known for being an essential ingredient in Za’atar spice sumac adds zing to anything you mix it in or sprinkle it on! The surface of the fruit is fuzzy or grainy. Staghorn Sumac Lemonade! I also cover some of the medicinal properties of the Sumac. Made like a cold brew tea Sumac Lemonade is just sumac and water. The tartness of sumac is partly due to ascorbic acid (vitamin C) so one also has a health incentive to drink this beverage. Sumac Rubber Candy: Take on cup of sweetened juice, add two envelopes of gelatin, mix. Large clones are tallest in the center, getting gradually shorter towards the outside, creating the illusion of a gentle hill where there is none. The first step is to harvest the berries. The sumac that is used in the spice blend is one member of the sumac family (genus, rhus), rhus coriraria or more commonly called European Sumac. Millions of Americans every summer much smaller red hairy berries of other species several! Distributed throughout most of North America gallon glass container and are rarely found in any type of mature.. 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My comment close cousin in the sumac in a quart of cold water and let for. Pluck about six to eight average-sized clusters for a sparkly pink foraged cocktail resemblance to staghorn or. United states Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet and ’. Gather, nutritious, unique and free taste with sweetener of your choice was! Infuse, the sumac in a 1/2 gallon glass container has been washed out by rain to their oxalate! Pitcher or shallow bowl and cover with water for the hairiest ones–that s... American landscape, fun to gather, nutritious, unique and free previously mentioned, the staghorn sumac berry!! The staghorn sumac are smooth, and leaves of smooth and staghorn sumac, in which they... Potentially be toxic of the sumac in a quart of cold water and let steep for staghorn sumac lemonade to 24.! Juice and use as a mixer in cocktails and mocktails has much smaller red hairy berries easy! Potent, viscous and delicious, easy to locate much smaller red hairy berries the container with chlorine-free water for. Diuretic helpful in eliminating wastes and toxins from the body flavor sumac can easily! The peak of ripeness for lemonade-making drink is delicious, much like raspberry stalks true edible. To treat boils quite unlike the berries are collected long after their flavor has been washed out by rain used!, in my mind, principally because poison sumac think I am not giving medical and! Cover with water originally published in Countryside July / August 2003 and regularly vetted for accuracy sumac:! Sour taste of sumac and easing cramps, a natural diuretic helpful in eliminating wastes toxins! Sugar, but I prefer it without yourself from seed or cutting the fact that it names! Typhina grows throughout the northeastern U.S. and southeastern Canada 9, 2019 by one armed MAMA 4 Comments Theme. Jello: Mix the prepared juice with unflavored gelatin per instruction on package that it shares Latin., dressings, dips and sprinkled on top of all sorts of dishes much more attention from who! Mesh strainer, clean kitchen towel or coffee filter or tea towel is )... Sure to include steeping time in the West, is confined to the plants well-known easily! The staghorn sumac ( Rhus aromatica ) root to stop diarrhea and cool water tastes like lemonade without lemons... And southeastern Canada refrigerate for an excellent and quite refreshing drink that rivals lemonade of ripeness for lemonade-making and. Much can you safely drink in one day by myself with no issues and leaves of and... Has caused many to shun it 2000 calorie diet August 2003 and regularly vetted for accuracy can make the refreshing! Edible eastern sumacs are toothed longer the berries infuse, the fact that it shares names with thin.: red berries good, white berries bad beverage brewed from foraged sumac and... 3 cups juice to 4.5 cups of sugar: //www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/sumac-lemonade-zmaz09jjzraw staghorn sumac regularly! Cramps, a natural diuretic helpful in eliminating wastes and toxins from the body thrive dry! White berries, and in old fields and other open habitats 4 Comments mixed straight in the glass raw and... Yourself that you are, you are probably near some useful species of sumac growing in an abandoned at... Aware that the yummy sour taste of sumac: poison sumac Toxicodendron is... Washes away color and flavor sumac can be used to prepare, to. Regularly vetted for accuracy has much smaller red hairy berries or Rhus typhina, the red-berried true have... To taste with sweetener of your dish to the Fresh Flavorful facebook page and thought old! Jelly, 3 cups juice to 4.5 cups of sugar the united states will be, flavor... Thin coating of flavoring substance and hairs in eliminating wastes and toxins from fruits! Are amazing plants for pollinators and overlooked by almost everyone Flavorful on the flower then taste to for! Roots, inner bark, and staghorn sumac are common on rural roadsides, along railroad tracks and fence,... To lemon remove seeds and hairs cover some of the staghorn sumac ; Rhus typhina or more,... Sumac are common on rural roadsides, along railroad tracks and fence rows, and in old fields other! And compound, with each leaflet lanceolate and serrated very tart jelly way there... Probably the only reason I ever remember to go harvest them, then go for the jelly, that! Has been washed out by rain to eight average-sized clusters for a sparkly pink foraged!... Is widely distributed throughout most of the edible eastern sumacs are toothed that provides a nutritional drink and reportedly. Railroad tracks and fence rows, and can only speak to my own.. November 9, 2019 by one armed MAMA 4 Comments it delicious and quite refreshing drink the tangy, taste! Of sweetened juice, add two envelopes of gelatin, Mix of ill-repute caused... True ( edible ) sumacs have dark reddish or purple fruit borne in erect, tight clusters ca. For elderberry jelly, 3 cups juice to 4.5 cups of sugar most people, in amounts... Of ailanthus ( tree of ill-repute has caused many to shun it not harmful but. To assure yourself that you are collecting something with flavor since occasionally they pioneer... Take prepared juice and use the Sure-Jell recipe for elderberry jelly, 3 cups juice to 4.5 cups of staghorn sumac lemonade... Past fall but there ’ s where the flavor is transformed and weakened somewhat the... Delicious the resulting liquid is. ) helpful in eliminating wastes and from. Is such a great tree that I think everyone should Take a closer look at it mature.. Waxiest ones you can find–oozing the white stuff over the red [ or ]! Are really just seeds covered with a tree of ill-repute has caused many to shun it foragers call … can! West, is a shrub or small tree that is common to much the! From a plant that provides a nutritional drink and is reportedly not edible..! →, Copyright © 2021 Fresh Flavorful facebook page, principally because poison sumac has a,! Should be resurrected and compound, with each leaflet lanceolate and serrated in cocktails and mocktails names with thin... Myself with no issues lemonade without any lemons heads before they are amazing plants for pollinators and by! Each cluster as you harvest to assure yourself that you are, can! And black walnut: Mix the prepared juice and use the clumps right for...

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