Sumac-Dusted Trout

It seems that I'm still having a hard time convincing people to try sumac because people can't escape the word association with the decidedly non-edible poison sumac.  I took both my za'atar spice blend and sumac applesauce to the last Mile High Swappers meeting, and nearly had to beg people to trade for them.  My friend from Formation of a Foodie told me afterward that perhaps I should have put in an extra reminder that culinary sumac is delicious and tart, and that I'm not in the habit of feeding people poison.


It's a shame because sumac is one of my favorite spices.  I use it all winter long in every recipe where I need to give food a tangy high note.  I think of it as my "local lemon."  And the sumac that I collected this year is far and away the finest I've ever taste, exponentially stronger than the sumac I recently tried at a spice shop.  I'm glad I collected a ton of it, because I seem to be using it in my cooking most every night.

Sumac is an especially nice accent on fish.  Think of how good a squirt of fresh lemon juice tastes atop fish; sumac adds a similar flavor.  I particularly like this recipe because the sumac was collected on the banks of the same river where the trout were caught.  Talk about a natural pairing!

Sumac-Dusted Trout

Place a small handful of sumac berries in a spice grinder, and buzz them a few times.  Pour through a fine-meshed sieve.  The hard seeds from the center of the sumac berries will be left behind.

Rub your trout down with bacon grease.  Then generously dust them with salt, black pepper, and sumac powder, inside and out.  It is particularly important to season the inside of the body cavity, in order to maximize flavor.

Grill the sumac-dusted trout over a low flame until gently browned and cooked through, approximately 12 minutes.  Test for doneness by seeing if the flesh easily pulls away from the bone.


You've still got time to have your favorite sumac recipe included in the Wild Things Round Up.  Just be sure to submit your link to before the end of the month of October.

I'm sharing this recipe with Fight Back Friday.  If you like simple, wholesome recipes, go ahead and click through.


  1. This just made me laugh out loud. Not "lol" but a real laugh to no one but myself. Also, that sounds delicious!

  2. Isn't sumac used extensively in Iran and the Middle East? So, maybe quite a few people aren't afraid of sumac poisoning.

    Perhaps, if you had brought a Persian dish seasoned with sumac...

  3. Cool post! I have known the difference since I was a kid- we have a lot of it growing around here. I like the taste, but never consumed it other than as a tea. Now, hope I can still find some, since it is now snowing and I have a feeling Fall just got canceled.

  4. I've been told the Indians here in the northeast made a drink and it's called indian lemonade

  5. I'm going to be picking a lot of it up here in Maine my folks had a couple sumac trees in there yard but I was always told it was poisonous then I learned it wasn't I wish my mother hadnt sold the house but you can't go anywhere around here without seeing sumac trees

  6. I've been told the Indians here in the northeast made a drink and it's called indian lemonade


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