Last updated: 16/10/2022

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Sesame is considered one of the oldest oil plants in the world. The plant is known for its extraordinary wealth of vital substances. This is because sesame is full of high-quality fatty acids, amino acids and lecithin, which supports the metabolism, among other things. It contains a lot of iron and calcium and therefore also offers a valuable source of nutrients for vegetarians and vegans.

You can find sesame seeds in several varieties in the shops. Whether hulled or unhulled, roasted or unroasted, as oil or paste, there is something for every taste. But sesame is also sought after outside the kitchen.

The all-rounder can also be found in cosmetics such as creams and hair treatments. We have therefore compared the different types and told you what you should look out for when buying sesame seeds so that you can find the right one for you right away.




Summary

  • There are black, brown and white sesame seeds. The most intensely flavoured variety is black sesame. Brown sesame is a little less intense, but still aromatic. White sesame is the mildest variety.
  • Sesame is also available as oil, paste or flour. In addition, sesame is also found in cosmetic products such as creams. In the form of Sesamum Indicum, it provides an antioxidant, nourishing effect.
  • Sesame is considered to be beneficial to health. It contains many different nutrients that are of great health importance in everyday life.

The Best Sesame: Our Picks

Sesame comes in colours ranging from golden yellow to light brown and black. However, the different varieties do not only differ externally. Sesame is also available in the form of oil or flour.

Buying and evaluation criteria for sesame seeds

When buying sesame seeds, there are a few criteria to consider so that you can choose the right variety for your purposes. To avoid buying the wrong product and disappointment, you should pay attention to the following points when buying sesame seeds:

If you keep these aspects in mind when choosing a product, it should be easy to find the right variety. Whether for baking, garnishing or preparing your oriental dishes, nothing stands in the way of your plans.

Origin

The sesame plant originally comes from India and the tropical regions of Africa. The black sesame is considered to be the original form. The plant was later cultivated in East Asia. Today, sesame is cultivated worldwide in tropical and subtropical regions.

Season

For those who worry that sesame might only be available seasonally, there is good news. Sesame seeds are available all year round and can be kept for several months after purchase. However, it should be stored in a dry place.

Colour

There are three different types and colours of sesame. There is black sesame, which is the original form of sesame. Other, much younger types of sesame are brown and white sesame. White sesame in particular is the most common nowadays.

Taste

Black sesame has a stronger taste and an earthy flavour. The two lighter varieties, on the other hand, are less intense in flavour. Brown sesame is somewhat milder than black sesame, while white sesame is the mildest variety.

Generally speaking, hulled sesame is milder than unhulled sesame. In addition, roasted sesame is more aromatic than the non-roasted variety.

Preparation

If you have not bought it in the form you need, you may have to prepare your sesame seeds first. To roast sesame seeds yourself, place them in a well-heated, coated pan without adding any fat.

Stir occasionally so that nothing burns and wait until the seeds shine golden and smell pleasant. When fully roasted, the seeds can be rubbed dry between the fingers. Depending on the use, the sesame seeds may need to be ground. A spice grinder can help you with this.

Use

All types of sesame seeds can be eaten with or without the shell and roasted or unroasted. It depends mainly on what you want to use the sesame seeds for.

Roasted sesame has a more intense flavour, but loses some of its nutrients. Even in hulled form, some nutrients are lost. But without the bitter substances contained in the hull, sesame has a milder taste.

Sesame seeds can be found in supermarkets in various forms. Besides the seed, there is also sesame oil and sesame paste, which are equally popular for cooking. Sesame is even used in cosmetics. Some creams contain sesame in the form of Sesamum Indicum or Sesamum Indicum Oil. This gives them an antioxidant, nourishing effect.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about sesame answered in detail

Here we answer frequently asked questions about sesame seeds, so that even the last doubts can be resolved and you feel sufficiently informed when it comes to making a decision. We also give you an overview of the most important aspects of buying sesame seeds.

Who is sesame suitable for?

Sesame is suitable for everyone who wants to do something good for their health. Sesame is rich in various nutrients and vitamins A and B. It therefore helps to cover the daily nutritional requirements. It therefore helps to cover the daily nutritional requirements.

Sesame is not only used as a grain, but also in the form of oil. Moreover, sesame is found in many a cosmetic. (Image source: Silviarita / Pixabay)

Allergy sufferers should beware, however, because sesame is a strong allergen. For nut allergy sufferers, the all-clear is given, as sesame is neither a nut nor a legume. Therefore, you only need to avoid sesame if you have a specific allergy to it.

What types of sesame are there?

There are black, brown and white sesame seeds. All three types can be bought hulled or unhulled. You can also buy sesame seeds unroasted or already roasted. It depends on how you want to use it.

What are the differences between the types of sesame?

Black sesame has a spicier flavour than light sesame and an earthy note. This variety is particularly rich in nutrients. It contains a lot of iron, magnesium, zinc and vitamins A and B. The selenium it contains leads to its high nutritional value. The selenium it contains leads to its antioxidant effect. The high calcium content makes it a valuable source of nutrients, especially for vegetarians and vegans.

White sesame has a milder taste than darker sesame. It is particularly suitable for baking, cooking or garnishing. It also offers many health benefits, but is slightly less nutritious than black sesame.

Hulled sesame tastes milder than unhulled sesame, but is also less nutritious. Without the hull, the seed is softer, cream-coloured and slightly oily to the touch. Hulled sesame is good for sprinkling on pastries. In addition, hulled, roasted sesame is particularly aromatic. Therefore, it is well suited for seasoning or garnishing dishes.

Roasted s esame is considered more aromatic than non-roasted sesame. However, it loses many of its nutrients through heating during roasting. The earthy note of black sesame can be intensified by roasting. Depending on how hot and how long black sesame is roasted, it sometimes tastes mild, sometimes like caramel and sometimes even has an aftertaste of coffee.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a healthy food supplement, sesame is the right choice. The health-promoting benefits are numerous. Sesame contains a lot of iron, calcium and healthy unsaturated fatty acids. In addition, the trace element selenium strengthens the immune system and vitamins A and B are also contained.

In general, buying sesame is easiest when you know what you want to use it for. The variety of types and seemingly endless possibilities for use offer everyone a way to add sesame to everyday life. Whether on a bun, in a salad or as an oil. Because sesame is a true all-rounder.

(Cover photo: Hempel/ 123rf)

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