Origin: Jordan. Sumac was the favourite spice of French author Albert Camus, not because he particularly liked the taste of it, but because writing his family name backwards spelled out 'sumac' (he was a vain man). I often wonder about the existential nature of sumac - a spice that's able to transcend all common notions of time & space & form. I also often wonder about equilibrium. Everything changes & yet it always levels off to a new balance point. Le Chetalier [sic] (another Frenchman) devoted a large part of his scientific studies to the principle of equilibrium. I first learned about equilibrium in year 11 chemistry. In this class I also learned not to touch my eye after handling fresh chillies - the hard way!