The Popular Sesame Seed

Sesame seeds appear in a spectrum of colors from white to black. Most commonly, the countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and Nicaragua grow white sesame seeds, while most of the black sesame seeds come from China and Thailand.

Guatemalan cuisine incorporates a lot of white sesame seeds into its dishes. Toasted with vegetables and chiles to make broths for stews, or sprinkled on top of breads and cookies, Guatemalans have included sesame seeds in the country’s dishes since their introduction by the Spanish. While these seeds flourish here today (Guatemala is known for growing some of the highest quality sesame seeds in the world), sesame seeds did not originate from these soils. 

Most often seeds are incorporated into dishes after they are toasted. Toasting sesame seeds brings out the oils and adds a strong taste and aroma to the dish. For a stew broth, after the sesame seeds are toasted alongside other ingredients, they are put into a blender with chicken broth and blended until a rich aromatic broth is produced.