About sumac

Yeah ok the naff title of the post has a point – the sumac plant has over 200 brothers and sisters, and one of them is Poison Ivy! One or two of the other siblings are pretty nasty too. The sumac varietals (Mostly from the middle east and north africa) that are harvested to be ground up into the spice are known for the lemony, sharp tang they impart, and its my inspirational spice at the moment.

My own Middle Eastern inspired dinner - finger aubergine with sumac, Persian feta, parsley and pine nuts

Middle Eastern is big here in Melbourne, and its done ridiculously well in too many restaurants to count, and its a wide range to choose from – there are Lebanese, Turkish, Persian, Iranian and various North African inspired restaurants with very good food. One just down the road from where I live is the Turkish bar Gigi Baba, and when the big guy was off working last Friday night, I decided to plant myself at their bar and order as much as I could eat, having heard only good things about the food.

Marinated octopus salad at Gigi Baba
Cauliflower and pomegranate salad at Gigi Baba - this was amazing!
Pickled aubergine at Gigi Baba - beautiful

I pretty much had the entire menu, and if I had someone with me egging me on I would have eaten more (hey they’re only tapas size anyway)The dishes that I sampled were complex and simple at the same time, and to really ride a cliche (hehe) absolutely bursting with too many harmoniously melding flavours to describe. Here’s a chef who didn’t over or underthink the food. Its just right. I’ll be back for definite! Apologies for the crap quality photos, but dim restaurant lighting and my camera are not getting along…

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Living in France is great when it comes to food, but I do find myself missing some ethnic food, as well as Kennedy’s Fish Restaurant’s fish n chips…So reading this post has made me miss it even more, I wish I could have been there eating with you! No cauliflower salads around here, recently there has been a calf head defrosting (which takes days), and today Harry finally got access to its brains! Gotta love France! x C

  2. epicureaddict says:

    Merveilleux – les cervelles! Bon chance a Ross hehehehehe

  3. Werner Zeilinga says:

    I was told that Sumac was the poor mans lemon. I asume it was years ago for the poor people in the UK when imported lemons were still expensive.

  4. epicureaddict says:

    Probably – it does have a remarkable lemony flavour that really lifts dishes, and the UK probably used it – turns out it grows nearly anywhere!

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