Staghorn Sumac – No, its not Poisonous

Self-healing mushroom grain jar caps

Staghorn Sumac – No, its not Poisonous

by Sep 20, 2018Foraging0 comments

Growing up, we were told this was Poison Sumac.  Turns out, this is Staghorn Sumac and practically the entire plant is editable (or at least, useful) in some form or another!  We are lucky enough to have 4 or 5 of these growing in our yard and this year, we cut down some of the cones and tried them to make a Sumac spice.

Let’s take a look at this plant and what I have done with it.

How to Harvest Staghorn Sumac

  1. Snip the cones at the base.
  2. On a tray (I cover mine in foil) break the berries off of the cone.
  3. Dry them out under a heat lamp. I actually have a dehydrator now, but I used a heat lamp the first time I did this.
  4. Run the berries through a coffee grinder.

I harvested my Staghorn Sumac in July. As I sit here writing up this blog post on September 20th, I see a lot of great looking cones out in our trees that are just begging to be cut and dried.  You don’t want them to be brown, but a bright red.

How do you cook Staghorn Sumac

I have honestly not done a ton of cooking with Staghorn Sumac.

  • My favorite use so far is to throw in with Flour when I bread oyster mushrooms.
  • Popcorn… Staghorn Sumac adds an amazing zest to a bowl of popcorn.
  • You can soak the cones in water to make a lemonade type drink.

Staghorn Sumac

Mushroom Growing Naming Convention

As I continue to ramp up my mushroom growing endeavors, I am finding that I need to take better notes on my batches from the creation of the substrate to the inoculation and grow room.  To help with this, I am coming up with a naming convention for my grow outs and thought I would share it with everyone.

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Laetiporus Sulphureus – Chicken of the Woods

Chicken of the Woods is an awesome mushroom that has the texture of chicken and can really take on the flavor of the dish you are preparing.

Easy to Make Mushroom Grain Jar Caps

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Lapin à la Moutarde is French. I made this and it’s rich and intoxicating and layered in flavor. I enjoyed my time reading about the dish and then actually preparing it. You can use the whole rabbit for this dish, I look forward to preparing it again.

~ Laurie Luther



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