Sumacs are some of the prettiest plants in the wild, producing crimson red fruits nestled amongst spiraling leaves.
That might be why they drew the attention of early Middle Eastern, Arab, and Central Asian cultures, who turned the dried fruits into an oxblood-colored powder used as a leather dye and garnish.
It has a tart, wonderfully sour flavor, and stunning visual appeal when sprinkled over swirled plates of baba ghanoush, shakshouka, or grilled flatbreads.
Care: Store spices in a dark, cool spot. Shelf life is 1 year after opening.