Sesame seeds

A tropical or subtropical plant that produces seed pods that, when dried burst open and then are shaken to encourage the release of hundreds of tiny seeds.  Sesame seeds are usually cream in color but may also be yellow or reddish or black, depending on the variety.  The seeds can be used raw but when toasted, take on a nutty, slightly sweet flavor.  

Sesame seeds are used in cooking, throughout the world on bread and as garnishes for salads.  In the Middle East they are used in halvah, are crushed to make tahini or ground with chickpeas to produce hummus.  In Japan sesame seeds form the basis of seasoning such as gomasio.

Because of their high oil content, the seeds become stale quickly. Purchase in small amounts or store in the fridge for up to 3 months.  Sesame seeds may also be frozen.  

Sesame Oil
Made from crushed seeds and ranges from amber-yellow to darker brown. It has a very strong flavor and aroma.  

The lighter colored oil is used as a salad dressing and for frying in the Middle East, the darker colored oil made from toasted sesame seeds, is stronger in flavor and is ideal to use in small amounts as a flavoring, condiment and seasoning to Asian foods. Sesame oil can be used for frying as it has a high smoking point however the roasted oil burns very quickly.   



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