The story of Sesame
Sesame is one of the oldest crops known to mankind. There are archeological remnants or sesame used in cooking dating to 5,500 years ago in the Indian subcontinent. Assyrian tablets from 4,300 years ago describe how before the gods battled to restore order to the universe, they ate bread and drank sesame wine together.
Most people remember the words "Open sesame" from Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves used to open a cave full of riches. Sesame was a major oilseed in the ancient world because of its ease of extraction, its great stability in heat and cold, and its drought resistance.
Throughout Asia, people are advised "Eat sesame for health." In recent years the Japanese have been identifying and quantifying the medicinal benefits of sesame. In vitro and animal studies have verified several antioxidant properties, and initial unpublished results in human studies further verify that stories passed down through generations have merit.
Did you know that…?
- Sesame flour has high protein, high levels of methionine and tryptophan
- Sesame seeds are a good source of manganese and copper, they are also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, vitamin B1, zinc and dietary fiber
- Sesame has a high level of antioxidants (sesamin, sesamolin, and sesamol).
Sesame seeds contain three times more calcium than a comparable measure of milk
Sesame blooms in the field, and as it dries, the seedpods release the sesame seeds for harvesting. Most common uses for Sesame are in baked products, in oil, and in butter.
Sesame seeds are available in:
- White Sesame - traditionally called “benne”,
- Black Sesame - the culinary world’s “Magic Seed”
- Gold Sesame - very rare and not often cultivated
Almost all of the 18 Sesmark varieties contain sesame flour or sesame seeds. The delicious and flavorful seed gave rise to Sesmark’s brand name.