Sesame seeds, which are tiny and flat seeds, come in shades of brown, red and black. The most commonly found ones are a pale grayish-ivory. Sesame seeds have a nutty, slightly sweet flavor that make them versatile for use in baked goods such as breads, pastries, cakes and confections as well as in salads and savory dishes. The seeds are available packaged in supermarkets and can be found in bulk in spice markets. Sesame seeds have high oil content, so they turn rancid quickly. Store them in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for 3 months. They keep longer if refrigerated or frozen. Sesame seeds can be ground into a paste called tahini and the paste is used in many Middle Eastern dishes. The seeds are also crushed to make oil, which is used in Asian dishes.
Sesame Oil:An aromatic oil produced from sesame seeds. This has a special flavor and is used as a seasoning and is a vital ingredient in some sauces. It is available from most good supermarkets.