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15 Facts About Black Tahini

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Black tahini, also known as black sesame paste, is a Middle Eastern condiment made from roasted black sesame seeds that have been ground into a smooth paste. It has been used in Middle Eastern and East Asian cuisine for centuries and is growing in popularity around the world1.

Here are 15 fascinating facts you may not know about this nutritious and versatile ingredient:

Facts About Black Tahini

File:Black sesame injeolmi.jpg
File:Black sesame injeolmi.jpg by Hyeon-Jeong Suk is licensed under CC BY 2.0 .
  1. The black tahini is packed with nutrients. It is an excellent source of protein, providing nearly 8 grams per 2-tablespoon serving. It also contains high levels of calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, fiber, vitamins B1 and E.
  2. Its deep, earthy flavor comes from roasting the black sesame seeds before grinding them. This enhances their natural nutty taste. The flavor is more intense than regular tahini made from raw white sesame seeds.
  3. The rich, inky black color comes from the black sesame seeds that are used to produce it. These seeds naturally contain higher levels of healthy oils compared to plain white sesame seeds.
  4. Traditional methods are still used to make high-quality black tahini today. The black sesame seeds are stone ground with minimal processing to preserve nutrients. Modern commercial production uses steel roller mills instead.
  5. Black tahini has been used in Middle Eastern cuisine for over 8,000 years, with some of the first written records dating back to ancient Mesopotamia. It was likely eaten by early civilizations even before writing existed.
  6. Its popularity spread along ancient trade routes from the Middle East to East Asia and the Mediterranean. Black sesame seeds and tahini traveled along the Silk Road to China and Japan.
  7. In China, a sweet dessert paste called black sesame paste is made from black tahini mixed with sugar. This is used as a filling in Chinese pastries and desserts.
  8. In Japan, black sesame seeds are used to make goma-ae, a savory salad dressing poured over cooked vegetables.
  9. Black tahini is a staple ingredient in hummus bi tahina, a classic Levantine chickpea dip mixed with tahini, lemon, and spices. Using black tahini gives the hummus a grey color and rich, nutty flavor.
  10. It features prominently in sweet Middle Eastern desserts like halva and tahini cookies. The sweet, nutty intensity pairs beautifully with honey and sugar.
  11. The ancient Assyrians believed black tahini had special health properties and included it in medicinal treatments 4,000 years ago. Modern research has proven many of these old folk remedies to be true.
  12. Recent studies show black tahini has higher levels of healthy fats and antioxidants than regular tahini. The antioxidants help reduce inflammation and oxidative damage in the body.
  13. Black sesame seeds contain high amounts of sesamin and sesamolin, two unique antioxidants that are not found in other foods. Researchers are studying these lignans for their anti-aging effects and ability to protect the liver and heart.
  14. Traditionally in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, black sesame seeds and tahini are used to strengthen the kidneys and liver. The rich nutritional profile nourishes these detoxifying organs.
  15. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), black sesame is believed to benefit hair health and color.
  16. Ayurveda uses black tahini to treat dry, brittle hair and hair loss.
  17. The whole black sesame seeds sprinkled on food add a delicious crunch, while the tahini paste makes a flavorful sauce. The black tahini is great for drizzling over vegetables, salads, meat, fish and whole-grain dishes.
  18. When buying black tahini, look for a pure, 100% black sesame paste made from roasted black sesame seeds with no other ingredients added. High-quality brands will specify the roasting method used and that no chemical solvents were used in production.
  19. Once opened, black tahini will be kept for 1-2 months refrigerated. The oil may separate, but stirring well before use reincorporates it. Signs it has spoiled are mold, an off smell, or a very bitter taste.

Frequently Asked Questions About Black Tahini

What is black tahini?

Black tahini is a condiment made from roasted black sesame seeds that have been ground into a thick, smooth paste with a rich, nutty flavor.

How is black tahini different from regular tahini?

Black tahini has a bolder, more intense flavor compared to regular tahini made from raw white sesame seeds, due to the black seeds being roasted before grinding.

What cuisine is black tahini used in?

Black tahini is a staple ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine, especially hummus, halva, tahini cookies, and it is also used in East Asian cuisine.

What are the health benefits of black tahini?

Research shows black tahini has higher antioxidant levels than regular tahini, which can help reduce inflammation and oxidative damage in the body.

How long does an opened black tahini last in the fridge?

Once opened, black tahini will be kept for 1-2 months refrigerated. Check for signs of spoilage like mold, off smells, or bitter taste before using.

In conclusion, black tahini is a tasty, nutritious ingredient with a long culinary history. Its bold, nutty flavor and smooth texture make it a wonderful addition to both sweet and savory recipes. With proven health benefits and endless uses in global cuisines, this ancient food only grows more popular over time.

  1. https://iheartumami.com/black-sesame-paste/ []

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