Given the size of the seed, I had surmised that it must come from a grass of some sort. Alas, I am not always as smart as I should be--particularly when it comes to plants. The sesame plant is not a grass, but a flowering herb. The seeds grow in the plant's pods. While there are many wild varieties, usually found in Africa, sesame was probably first cultivated in India, where it has a long history and is used in many rituals.
Other things I didn't know about sesame seeds and/or plants:
According to Assyrian legend, when the gods met to create the world, they drank wine made from sesame seeds. (yep--stole that directly from the Wikipedia page)
- The phrase "Open sesame" came from "Arabian Nights" and refers to the pods of the plant opening when mature.
- The seeds are really good for you: "exceptionally rich in iron, magnesium, manganese, copper and calcium (90 mg per tablespoon for unhulled seeds, 10 mg for hulled), and contain vitamin B1 . . . and vitamin E . . . They contain lignans, including unique content of sesamine . . . with antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. Among edible oils from six plants, sesame oil had the highest antioxidant content."
- It's easier to absorb the nutrients if you grind then up before eating. Tahini is a delicious example.
- The plants are very pretty.
Curiosity. It's a beautiful thing. Well, for me, anyway. Even if you didn't want to know anything about sesame seeds, at least check out the video link in the first paragraph.