Saturday, April 14, 2012

Open Sesame

Hard to believe one tiny little seed can be so versatile. That's the case with the same seed.It can be used as decoration or mashed in a dip.It 's an ingredient every home chef should have on the ready. Sesame seeds are a kitchen must have.

Sesame seeds come from the sesame plant  which has been cultivated for the last 5,000 years.Its' origins started in India however it was then replanted to Africa , primarily the North Saharan region. It has the highest oil content of any oil seed, You can store sesame seeds for a long time thanks to a sturdy and durable shelf life. It is also rich  in antioxidants and Omega 6 fatty acids.Sesame seeds are also abundant in carbs as well  as amino acids and essential fatty acids Unfortunately it could trigger bad allergic reactions  such as rashes and wheezing. Sesame seeds are about 2 to 3 millimeters in length and are always oval shaped. Their colorings vary from a creamy white , to sand to beige to a honeyed brownand black.

Sesame seeds are used the world over. Greeks Arabs and Turks use it to make the creamy dip tahini as well as oil.Ancient Greeks made a delicious candy called halvah  of it and the sweet  is still sold in stores today. They also make a crunchy and addictive bar with the seeds and honey. Italians use it to cat breads and breadsticks while.the Chinese like their sesame seeds in fried balls. Indian cuisine calls for black version in both sweet and savory balls. North Africans strictly use it with any kind of fish and lobster. What we Americans use it for is simply a topping mostly for hamburger buns  and benne ,a South Carolina crunchy cookie that had its' beginnings in West Africa, probably Benin.The Japanese like it to give sushi and salad flavor and crunch.

Sesame is a versatile seed that can be used in a variety of different ways. Try it in a salad the way the Japanese do or in a crunch cookie such as benne. It is a delicious way to experience this intriguing seed

Sesame is agreat

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