Sesame, or Sesame


Sesame, orsesame (Sesamum indicum) - a plant from the Sesame family (Pedaliaceae), belongs to the genus Sesame (Sesamum), including up to 10 species growing wildly in tropical and southern Africa, with the exception of one farmed since ancient times in all of warm and hot Asia, and now in America.

Sesame, or Sesame.

The Latin name of the plant genus Sesamum comes from other Greek. sēsamon, which, in turn, is borrowed from the Semitic languages ​​(Aramaic shūmshĕmā, arab. simsim), from late Babylonian shawash-shammuotassirian shamash-shammūfromshaman shammī - "oil plant".

Sesame Description

Sesame is an annual plant 60-150 cm high. The root root is 70-80 cm long, branched and thick in the upper part. Stem erect, green or slightly reddish, 4-8-sided, pubescent, less often bare, usually branched from the base; second-order branches are rarely formed. Leaves are alternate, opposite or mixed. Leaves pubescent, smooth or corrugated, 10-30 cm long, long-leaved. Leaf blade varies greatly between different forms and within the same plant.

The lowermost leaves are usually round, whole-marginal; the middle ones are lanceolate, elliptical or elongated-ovoid, whole-edge, serrated, incised or deep, palmate-separated. The upper leaves are narrow, whole. The flowers are large, up to 4 cm long, almost sessile, located in the leaf axils of 1-5 pcs. Calyx 0.5-0.7 cm long, leafy, with 5-8 elongated lobes, green, densely pubescent. The corolla is two-lipped, pink, white or purple, densely pubescent, 1.5-3.8 cm long. The upper lip is short, 2-3-lobed; lower - longer, 3- and 5-lobed.

Stamens, number 5, are attached to the lower part of the corolla, of which 4 are normally developed, and the 5th is underdeveloped. Less commonly there are 10 stamens. Pestle with upper 4-9-nested, highly pubescent ovary.

The fruit is oblong, pointed at the apex, green or slightly reddish, highly pubescent 4-9-nest capsule, 3-5 cm long. Seeds are ovate, flat, 3-3.5 mm long, white, yellow, brown or black.

Blossoms in June-July, bears fruit in August-September. In the wild, it is found only in Africa.

Sesame, or sesame (Sesamum indicum) Botanical illustration from the book "Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen", 1887.

Sesame Facts

Sesame seed is one of the oldest seasonings known to man, and perhaps the first crop was specially grown because of edible oil. Babylonians made sesame cakes, wine and brandy, and also used oil for cooking and toiletries. The sesame was used by the Egyptians as a medicine already in 1500 BC “Open Sesame” is a magic word used by Ali Baba and forty robbers to enter the cave.

This can be attributed to the fact that the ripe sesame pods open with a loud click at the slightest touch. Even in ancient sesame was associated with immortality. There is some exaggeration, however, sesame seeds are really rich in vitamins (especially vitamin E) and minerals (especially zinc), necessary for the normal functioning of any human body. Unfortunately, sesame is not very popular in our country, and is best known as a component of halva, especially "tahini" - for its preparation, tahini mass is used as a basis - ground sesame seeds. At the end of the 17th and 18th centuries, slaves brought seeds to America.

Seeds, depending on the plant variety, are brown, reddish, black, yellow, and ivory. Darker seeds are considered more fragrant. Sesame seeds have a nutty, sweet flavor that intensifies when frying. Due to the high oil content, the seeds deteriorate quickly. It is better to buy them in small quantities and use quickly. Sesame oil, by contrast, is well and long stored.

Sesame, or sesame.

The benefits and application of sesame seeds

Since sesame today is a world seasoning and spice, as well as a source of vegetable oil, consider its use, starting from the Middle East. In the Middle East, sesame seeds are used to sprinkle all kinds of baked goods and flat cakes. Ground sesame paste is used throughout the Middle East and is used in many Middle Eastern recipes to thicken and flavor sauces and gravy.

Basically, almost all plant seeds contain some kind of latent energy, which is used as a growth source for a young plant in the first phase of its life. The seeds contain fatty oil (up to 60%), which contains glycerides of oleic, linoleic, palmitic, stearic, arachinic and lignoceric acids; phytosterol, sesamine (chloroform), sesamol, sesamoline, vitamin E, self.

Sesame seeds.

According to other sources, sesame oil mainly consists of triglycerides, light unsaturated oleic acid (35-48%), linoleic acid (37-48%), in addition, about 10% of saturated fatty acids: stearic (4-6%), palmitic ( 7-8%), as well as myristic (about 0.1%), arachinic (up to 1.0%) (iodine number 110). Due to its strong antioxidant properties - sesame oil (oxyhydroquinone methyl ester) was found in sesame oil, and the absence of triple unsaturated fatty acids, sesame oil has a long shelf life.

Sesame seed is rich in calcium, vitamins B1 and E and polyunsaturated linoleic fatty acids. Sesame seeds contain about 50-60% fatty oil, its composition is characterized by two lignins - sesamine and sesamoline (about 300 ppm in oil), which during refining are converted into phenolic antioxidants - sesamol and sesaminol. Sesame oil is a food product equivalent to other vegetable oils, however, it does not contain vitamin A and little vitamin E.

Eastern sesame oil owes its smell to several compounds that are formed only during the frying process. The main ones are 2-furylmethanethiol, which also plays an important role in the aroma of coffee and baked meat, guayacol (2-methoxyphenol), phenylethanethiol and furaneol, as well as vinylguacol, 2-pentylpyridine, etc.

Simit, Greek and Turkish baked goods with sesame seeds.

Sesame seed is used to give texture and taste to various breads, rolls, crackers and salad dressings. Spice mixtures in the Middle East and Asia use crushed whole sesame seeds. In China and Japan, salads and vegetable dishes are seasoned with sesame seeds.

Sesame is widely used for the production of tahini paste. White sesame seeds are mainly used for these purposes. Tahini paste is used for the production of sweet desserts, and together with sugar and honey for the production of halva. Sesame can be peeled to produce high-quality tahini paste.

White sesame is often used to decorate baked goods and bread. For these purposes, sesame is pre-peeled. When peeled, sesame can be fried before use as a sprinkle of baked goods. In Korea, sesame leaves with a burning taste are used, they are given a beautiful shape and served as vegetables with sauce or fried in batter.

In addition, they are used to wrap rice and vegetables in them (an analogue of Japanese sushi) and fermented sesame leaves are added to stews at the very end of cooking. The Korean sesame variety produces large leaves that are very similar to the banister leaves, which they prefer in Japanese cuisine. The leaves of the railing are softer and smaller, with more cut edges and have a different aroma. Sesame salt - the main Korean seasoning is a mixture of fried crushed sesame seeds and salt.

Material Links:

  • Sesame on Wikipedia