S. Worthen (owlfish) wrote,
S. Worthen

Open Sesame

And then there are the days when I suddently realize I have no idea how a plant I regularly eat grows.

I cooked with sesame seeds twice this weekend. The Parsee Red Chicken curry called for it as a minor ingredient, replaceable with tahini. It was a recipe which comprised a list of ingredients, a couple of techniques to be applied to them, and instructions which failed to tell me what to do with some of the most major ingredients in that list, i.e. 10 chiles. It was subtle and rich, tasting more of those three cardamon pods than anything else in the substantial ingredient list.

The Irish-American soda bread recipe did not call for sesame seeds, but since I had no carraway seeds, there was no reason to be too literal about their replacement. Sesame seeds in the loaf, fennel seeds on top. Fresh from the oven, it fractured into four pieces. It was tasty with paté, if difficult to cohere. C used a knife and fork to eat it.

I imagined, I have to say, the pods cascading off of trees, perhaps. They do not. They grow from small flowering plants. The word derives ultimately from the Assyrian. And Wikipedia claims that "According to Assyrian legend, when the gods met to create the world, they drank wine made from sesame seeds." The closest commercially available these days is Sesame Shochu.
Tags: food
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