Sesame Seed Oil - Gourmet Guide

June 12, 2019 | By Dave Mattingly

Sesame Seed Oil is oil derived from the sesame seed. Sesame seeds are believed to be one of the first crops used to make oil. With one of the highest oil contents of any seed, sesame seeds are very drought tolerant and are cultivated in tropical climates such as Central America, Mexico and China. Originating in India, Sesame Seed Oil was used as early as 3000 BC in regions of the Middle East. Babylonians used Sesame Seed Oil in cooking, for medicine and in perfumes, while the Chinese burned the oil for light and used its soot to make stick ink. Rich, nutty sesame seeds and their oil were high prized throughout the centuries and often reserved for the wealthy, as the oil is difficult to harvest efficiently and large amount of sesame seeds are needed to produce small amounts of Sesame Seed Oil.

Sesame Seeds grow within a pod on the single-stalked Sesame plant. They are hand-harvested by cutting the stalk and shaking them over a cloth, which catches the Sesame Seeds that are released from the pod. Sesame Seeds may also be harvested by machines, but machine harvesting is expensive which limits its use. Sesame Seed Oil is produced in two varieties: a light colored cold-pressed Sesame Seed Oil that has a mild flavor, and an Asian Sesame Seed Oil made from roasted Sesame Seeds that is darker in color and has a richer stronger flavor. This variety is best when used sparingly in sauces or as finishing oil.

Sesame Seed Oil is a rich source of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin E, magnesium, copper, calcium and zinc. Sesame Seed Oil is also high in Omega-6 Fatty Acids, which are poly-unsaturated fatty acids, known to help lower blood pressure.

Sesame Seed Oil is valued for its use not only in culinary world, but also for its medicinal and skin care benefits. The therapeutic value of Sesame Seed Oil is seen when it is applied topically. Sesame Seed Oil has antibacterial qualities and is a natural anti-inflammatory. It is often used a as a massage oil, has been used to help circulation, anxiety and fatigue. Sesame Seed Oil is also used as laxative, as a remedy for toothaches, headaches, and dry skin.

Sesame Seed Oil adds unique flavor to most Asian dishes such as stir-fries or noodle dishes. Sesame Seed Oil adds a rich nutty flavor when used in marinades, salad dressings, or when drizzled on a dish prior to serving. We offer Sesame Seed Oil from La Tourangelle. Their flavorful light colored Sesame Seed Oil is derived from high quality Sesame Seeds that are slowed toasted revealing a rich exquisite flavor.

American cooks may want to use Sesame Oil to flavor an Asian stir-fry or noodle dish or as a marinade for meat or fish. Sesame Oil makes a delicious dressing for a Chinese Chicken Salad.

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