I’ve been familiar with sesame seeds and used them in a variety of dishes for some time. I can honestly say until now I didn’t know from what kind of plant they originate.
The scientific name for sesame seeds is Sesamun indicum. These pods burst open like milkweed does when mature. That is where the phrase, “Open sesame,” started.
These seeds are considered one of the oldest cultivated crops for edible oil.
They are also the main ingredients in tahini (sesame seed paste) in Middle Eastern cooking. Another plus is that they are available throughout the year.
The seeds leave off a nutty taste. Often they are added to bread crust for crunch.
Serve these seeds toasted to enhance the nutty flavor.
Sesame seeds are prized for their high oil content. The oil is popular in Asian cuisine. Because of the high oil content, store sesame seeds in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer to avoid rancidity.
This seed oil is also burned for as a light source in some countries.