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Sesame
 

Pictured above; some vinegar bottles

 
 
 
 

Sesame, common name for about 15 species of erect herbaceous plants native to Africa and Asia, sesame is now found in most of the tropical, subtropical, and southern temperate areas of the world.

The name sesame is applied especially to one of its species that is widely cultivated for its seeds. The oil extracted from sesame seeds is used in cooking, as salad oil, and in making margarine. Commercially the plants are grown as annuals from seed, reaching a height of about 2 m in three to five months. The plants are cut and dried; as they dry, the seed capsules split open, and the seeds are easily extracted by shaking the plants upside down.

The Chinese used Sesame 5,000 years ago, and for centuries they have burned the oil to make soot for Chinese ink blocks. The Romans ground sesame seeds with cumin to make a pasty spread for bread. Once it was thought to have mystical powers, and sesame still retains a magical quality, hence the expression "open sesame".

 
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Quick Facts
Chopsticks
Chinese Chopsticks taper to a rounded end, Japanese taper to a pointed end and Korean taper to a blunted end.
Chopsticks are traditionally held in the right hand only, and in East Asia, as in Muslim nations, the left hand is used in the toilet.
 
 
 
 
 

 

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