Last year, we wrote a post called 8 foods that grow in a surprising way, about the unexpected ways in which some common foods grow and where they originated from. It was quite popular. And it changed my life. No longer can I simply eat a meal… I now question everything on my plate; imagine the ways in which it might grow and where, and then research it thoroughly afterwards… I find I am eating alone a lot these days.
Anyway, I thought I’d do a follow-up, so you can also further regale your friends and family at meal times! Check back here each day this week for a new food!

Sesame seeds

Originates from Africa

Sesame seeds
Sesame seeds are those little dots of flavour that you really don’t take much notice of; they are on bread, burgers, in crackers, and lots of Asian dishes, amongst other things. I bet now I’ve mentioned them you’ll see them everywhere! Have you ever considered how they grow, though?
Sesame seed burger
The tiny seeds grow in the pods of dark-green leaved plants that bear tubular flowers that vary in colour. The plant is considered to be one of the oldest oilseed crops around; it was being farmed over 5,000 years ago!
Sesame plants
One of the reasons it became – and remained – so popular is because it survives in very harsh conditions; incredible heat, no rain, too much rain… It grows where other crops won’t, and for this reason is it sometimes called a survivor crop. Hardly little things, aren’t they? Except they are not really little. The seeds may be tiny but the actual plants can grow up to six feet tall!
Sesame oil
One of the more interesting things I’ve read about sesame is that the phrase “open sesame” from the story Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves, was the chosen phrase because the sound of a ripe sesame pod splitting open sound a bit like a door unlocking!
Photo credits: Gudlyf, David Guo’s Master, Krish Dulal and Mariko GODA

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