Organic Sesame Seeds
Sesame is grown primarily for its oil-rich seeds, which come in a variety of colors, from cream-white to charcoal-black. In general, the paler varieties of sesame seem to be more valued in the West and Middle East, while the black varieties are prized in the Far East. The small sesame seed is used whole in cooking for its rich nutty flavour (although such heating damages their healthful polyunsaturated fats), and also yields sesame oil.
Sesame seeds are sometimes added to breads, including bagels and the tops of hamburger buns. Sesame seeds may be baked into crackers, often in the form of sticks. Sesame seeds are also sprinkled onto some sushi style foods. Whole seeds are found in many salads and baked snacks as well in Japan. Tan and black sesame seed varieties are roasted and used for making the flavoring gomashio. In Greece the seeds are used in cakes, and in Togo they are a main soup ingredient. The seeds are also eaten on bread in Sicily and France (called “ficelle sÃ©same”, sesame thread). About one-third of Mexico’s sesame crop is exported to the United States and purchased by McDonald’s for their sesame seed buns (The Nut Factory 1999). In Manipur (North Eastern State of India) Black sesame is used extensively as a favourite side dish called ‘Thoiding’ and in ‘Singju’ (A kind of salad). Sesame is used extensively for preparing these two dishes. Unlike mainland Indians they are prepared with ginger in Thoiding with chilli and with vegetables in Singu which is spicy and hot. In Assam, black sesame seeds are used to make Til Pitha and Tilor laru (sesame seed balls) during bihu. In Punjab province of Pakistan and Tamil Nadu state of India, a sweet ball called “Pinni” (Ù¾Ù†ÛŒ) in Urdu and ‘Ell urundai’ in Tamil, “Yellunde” (sesame ball, usually in jaggery) in Kannada and tilgul in Marathi is made of its seeds mixed with sugar. Also in Tamil Nadu, sesame oil used extensively in their cuisine, Milagai Podi, a ground powder made of sesame and dry chili is used to enhance flavor and consumed along with other traditional foods such as idli. Sesame (benne) seed cookies and wafers, both sweet and savory, are still consumed today in places like Charleston, South Carolina. The seeds are believed to have been brought into 17th century colonial America by West African slaves. In Caribbean cuisine, sugar and white sesame seeds are combined into a bar resembling peanut brittle and sold in stores and street corners.