Sesame

related topics
{food, make, wine}
{language, word, form}
{specie, animal, plant}
{god, call, give}
{country, population, people}
{day, year, event}
{film, series, show}

Sesame (Sesamum indicum) (pronounced /ˈsɛsəmiː/) is a flowering plant in the genus Sesamum. Numerous wild relatives occur in Africa and a smaller number in India. It is widely naturalized in tropical regions around the world and is cultivated for its edible seeds, which grow in pods. The flowers of the sesame seed plant are yellow, though they can vary in colour with some being blue or purple.

It is an annual plant growing to 50 to 100 cm (1.6 to 3.3 ft) tall, with opposite leaves 4 to 14 cm (1.6 to 5.5 in) long with an entire margin; they are broad lanceolate, to 5 cm (2 in) broad, at the base of the plant, narrowing to just 1 cm (0.4 in) broad on the flowering stem. The flowers are white to purple, tubular, 3 to 5 cm (1.2 to 2.0 in) long, with a four-lobed mouth.

Contents

Synonyms

For scientific synonyms see Wikispecies.

Origins

Despite the fact that the majority of the wild species of the genus Sesamum are native to sub-saharan Africa, Bedigian (1984, 1988, 1998, 2000, 2003) demonstrated that sesame was first domesticated in India, citing morphological and cytogenetic affinities between domesticated sesame and the south Indian native S. mulayanum Nair., as well as archeological evidence that it was cultivated at Harappa in the Indus Valley between 2250 and 1750 BC, and a more recent find of charred sesame seeds in Miri Qalat and Shahi Tump in the Makran region of Pakistan.

Etymology

The word sesame is from Latin sesamum, borrowed from Greek sésamon "seed or fruit of the sesame plant", borrowed from Semitic (cf. Arabic simsim, Aramaic shūmshĕmā), from Late Babylonian *shawash-shammu, itself from Assyrian shamash-shammū, from shaman shammī "plant oil".

Full article ▸

related documents
Bock
Cannabis foods
Bean
Watermelon
Pistachio
Jelly Belly
Gin
Asparagus
Ceviche
Greek cuisine
Rioja (wine)
Quinoa
Haggis
Miso soup
Low-alcohol beer
Marmite
Sago
Merlot
Smoking (cooking)
Mastic
Bacon
Fish sauce
Sweet corn
Kefir
Pineapple
List of recipes
Dim sum
Chestnut
Red bean soup
Alcopop