What Does Tahini Taste Like? A Guide to the Middle Eastern Paste

27 בFebruary 2024

If you've started experimenting more in the kitchen with Middle Eastern recipes or dips like hummus, you may have come across an ingredient called tahini. But what does tahini taste like?

Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. Specifically, it's made from a type of sesame seed called the hulled sesame seed, which has had its shell removed. The seeds are then roasted and ground into a smooth, thick paste.

tahini sauce

At first glance, tahini may look like peanut butter. But the taste is quite different. Tahini has a very distinctive, nutty flavor that comes from those toasted sesame seeds. It doesn't taste exactly like sesame seeds on their own though - the flavor is more bold and rounded out after they've been hulled, roasted, and processed.

The texture of tahini is smooth, dense, and creamy. It's thicker than peanut butter or other nut butter. When you first dig your spoon in, you'll notice it slowly drizzles off instead of being drippy right away like oilier nut butter.

That distinctive sesame flavor comes through strongly in the robust, almost malty-tasting paste. Some describe it as having earthy, bittersweet undertones. The taste is powerful enough that just a little bit of tahini goes a long way in recipes.

tahini sauce

The rich, nuttiness pairs well with many Middle Eastern foods like hummus, baba ghanoush, and falafel. Tahini is one of the key ingredients in hummus, blending with the chickpeas to create that smooth texture and toasted flavor people love. It also makes a fantastic sauce or dressing on its own.

So in summary, the tasty tahini paste has a thick texture and powerful, nutty sesame flavor that adds tons of flavor to recipes. The taste is bold, bittersweet, and almost malty from the abundance of those tiny sesame seeds. Try it out in your cooking to add a Middle Eastern flair!

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