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Information for Sesame Seeds
Commonly known as white sesame seeds, sesamum indicum or sesamum orientale is an age old oil seed spice belonging to the Pedaliaceae family. The sesame plant grows annually reaching a height of up to 3 ft. Its leaves grow in opposite sides and its flowers are tubular that vary in color from white, yellow, blue and purple. Its seeds are encased in a fruit capsule which splits open on its own to release the pits.
Sesame seeds are small in size, measuring about an 1/8" (3 mm) in length, 1/16" (2 mm) in width and 1/32" (1 mm) in thickness. These are off white in color, tear-shaped with either fine or ridged surfaces. Sesame seeds carry an earthy, buttery and nutty flavor as well as a sweet and nutty aroma which are increased with toasting.
Used in many different cuisines, sesame seeds are a common ingredient in cooking. It is often used as a topping for bread, crackers, cookies and other baked items and sweet confections.
This spice is also incorporated with other spices to create condiments. Sesame seeds can also be used as a coating for fried food, giving it a nutty crunch. White sesame seeds compliment many different foods including chicken, fish, selfish, beef, noodles and rice.
Photo Credit: nate steiner