This post is part of a series: More foods that grow in a surprising way (5/5)

Sesame seeds | More foods that grow in a surprising way

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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More foods that grow in a surprising way

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About Lizzie Brooks

Lizzie Brooks

The most beautiful place I have been (so far!) has been Norway. Coming in to land in Oslo was like coming in to land in a fairytale; pine trees that looked like velvet amongst frozen fjords, the occasional wisp of smoke coming up from a little yellow or red house within the trees. Beautiful!

I kind of expected to see a Moomin emerging (but they are from Finland, of course).

Lizzie works in our marketing team

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