Sesame seeds came from India. But they were commonly used by ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans.
Sesame seeds were used to treat stomach problems.
The seeds are gathered just before being fully ripe. When they ripen on the plant they shatter. This is thought to be where the phrase Open Sesame comes from.
Add the seeds lightly toasted in a dry pan into stir fries. You can also mix them through butter for a spread.
Tahini is made from sesame seeds.
If you are using sesame oil, just use a few drops and then taste – it is really powerful stuff and there is no going back if you overdo it.
Try adding some toasted sesame seeds to mashed potato. Sprinkle some over creamed spinach.
My Recipes using sesame seeds – Chinese Eggplant Stir Fry, Pork Larb, Broccoli with Mustard & Sesame Seeds
BIBLIOGRAPHY - with thanks to Auckland Libraries
Cook's Encyclopaedia of Spices by Sallie Morris & Lesley Mackley
Discovering Vegetables, Herbs & Spices by Susanna Lyle
Spice Market by Jane Lawson
Spicery by Ian & Elizabeth Hemphill
Spices & Natural Flavourings by Jennifer Mulherin
Spices by Sophie Grigson
Spices Condiments and Seasonings by Kenneth T Farrell
Spices, Salt and Aromatics in the English Kitchen by Elizabeth David
The Cook's Companion by Stephanie Alexander