|Dark Sesame Oil |
|Dark Sesame Oil | Seasame Seeds|
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Dark Sesame Oil
If people only knew the utility and benefits of sesame seed oil, it would not doubt be universal in every kitchen. Available as either light or dark oil with a rich nutty flavor, it is also known as gingelly oil or til oil, and can be used for a variety of cooking needs. When the seeds are not roasted, the oil obtained is light colored and known as light sesame seed oil. This is the preferred type of oil in India and Middle-Eastern countries. The dark oil is preferred as a robust flavoring agent for cooking in Asia, predominantly Korea, China, and other Southeast Asian countries. It is the product of roasting the sesame seeds before expelling the oil in a press, with a different flavor and different cooking properties. While the light oil does not easily smoke and is good for deep fat frying, the dark oil is unsuitable for deep frying and can still used for stir-frying, but more importantly it is used as an ingredient added at the end of cooking to impart a rich sesame flavor to the food. Some people don't like the taste of too much sesame seed oil, but when it is used in moderation, a dish that is prepared with it cannot be reproduced with any other flavoring ingredient. And unlike some other oils, such as olive oil, the high temperatures of frying with sesame seed oil will not turn your kitchen into a problem.
Sesame seed oil, light or dark, is high in Omega-6 fatty acids, known to be highly nutritional. Because it contains two preservatives, sesamol and sesamin, as well as the anti-oxidant, Vitamin E, it resists to some degree oxidation when exposed to oxygen at room temperature. Yet, Sesame oil, delicate like most other oils, is best stored in the refrigerator to prevent from turning rancid. When compared to some other oils such as Walnut or Macadamia nut oil, it is very economical to purchase and use.
The sesame plant is erect and grows up to 60 inches. It is a highly variable plant and might be either highly branched or non-branched, with variations in the leaves. The flowers are white to light-rose color, and the seed capsules will contain up to 100 or more seeds. Like some tomatoes, the plant is indeterminate and will continue to flower and produce seeds as the weather permits. Plants are of either of two varieties: a shattering or a non-shattering type (discovered as a genetic mutant in 1946) in which the seedpods do not burst open when ripe. The shattering type creates a problem for automated mechanical harvest, but even the non-shattering type has been shown not to be very profitable in the automated commercial plantings of western countries.
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