The Sumac bushes contain deep red berries that are dried and made into powder. It is used as a spice and is native to the Middle East. The sour and tart taste of sumac was widely used in Europe until lemons were introduced. Ground sumac has a tanginess less than that of lemon; apart from this, it can also give a wonderful color to the dishes.
Sumac pairs well with vegetables, fishes, grilled chicken, or lamb. It is also used as herbal medicine as it is rich in antioxidants and nutrients. It is also said to be beneficial to control blood sugar levels.
How To Store Sumac
For better storage, you need first to understand the type of sumac you wish to store. It does not take a lot of work to store the sumac in the form of dried spice. Sumacs are of two types, from which the only one of its type is edible while the other is poisonous. Make sure to select the right one if you are directly picking them up from the garden.
The edible Sumacs contain bright red berries in clusters arranged in a cone shape located at the end of the branch. They also contain skinny leaves. The poisonous sumac has pointed round-shaped leaves and white fruit that grow with the end of the leaves. Poisonous sumacs usually grow in very wet regions.
Keep At Room Temperature
Sumacs are berries that are dried and crushed to turn into powdered spice. This kind of sumac can easily be stored at room temperature in a cabinet or the counter for several months if kept dry. Avoid using wet spoons, as the use of wet utensils frequently can reduce the shelf life of the spice.
Keep In An Airtight Container
The spices need a dry environment to keep them fresh and protected from outer humidity and pests that can grow in them. Keep the ground sumac inside a dry and clean airtight container. Store it away from heat sources such as direct sunlight or near the stove. Keep it covered at all times.
Keep In The Pantry
Airtight jars of sumacs can be kept in the pantry to keep them fresh for a year or two. Although some sources even say that sumac lasts indefinitely when kept in an airtight jar inside the pantry.
Can You Freeze Sumac
Although there is no need to freeze ground sumac, it has a longer shelf life than many other spices do. If you have whole sumac berries picked freshly from the branch and you don’t know what to do with them, you can freeze them in the form of sumac juice.
Soak the berries in cold water, rub them for the juice to mix in water, leave them for a few hours to combine with water properly. Then, freeze the juice in an ice cube tray, and you can use it anytime to make your favorite drink similar to lemonade anytime around the year.
How Long Does Sumac Last
When it comes to ground sumac, it originally comes in a plastic bag or a glass container. In either of the cases, there is a best before date on each pack. However, the date does not mean that sumac cannot be used at all after that date. When stored properly, you can use sumac for a few weeks, even after the labeled best before date.
When you keep sumac in an airtight container on your shelf or at room temperature, it is likely to stay good for a year or two. Sumac juices that are frozen can be kept inside the freezer for about a year. When kept inside the pantry, you can keep the sumac in an airtight jar for as long as you want. The ground sumac won’t go bad when kept in the pantry; you can use it for as long as you think until you finish it.
How To Tell If Sumac Is Bad
It is hard to tell if sumac has gone bad. The spices even last after their expiry date and can also be used. It is unlikely for sumac to go bad easily, but you can tell that it is unsuitable for use if it has lost its original tanginess and flavor.
- Color: Using wet utensils or wet hands to add sumac in any of your recipes can spoil the spice. The moisture left and sealed in the container will form clusters, and ultimately it will begin to spoil the spice. The change in its color and formation of clusters is a sign that sumac is going bad.
- Taste: Although you can use the spice and it will give no harm, it won’t be as appealing and tasty as it used to be before. Sumac tends to lose its original flavor when kept unused for too long.