Born and raised in Israel, after 10 years of building a career in the fashion industry, Hila Krikov and her family moved thousands of miles away from home to start life in the US. In her home in Lubbock, Texas, Hila found a new passion for her childhood flavors, as cooking Israeli food gave the family a deep sense of home, and sharing it with their neighbors helped them make new friends.
When the family later moved to the Northeast, Hila started to sell tahini-focused creations at farmer’s markets. Her mission was to introduce Eastern Mediterranean's sweet staples to the local consumers and to encourage them to add these beneficial snacks and desserts to their sweets pantry. Over the past five years, the brand grew and refined its selection, and products became available in retail stores. However, the company's initial purpose to connect consumers with Middle Eastern nutritious essentials has stayed their northern star to these days.
We use Tahini in our crafted products, and it’s always at the front and center of our dining events. Tahini is made from roasted and grounded sesame seeds - one of the oldest crops known to humanity. Commonly grown in the Middle East, no wonder sesame butter became a staple in the region’s cuisines. Tahini is a good source of plant-based fat, rich in protein, and packed with vitamins and important minerals. While it made its way to the western mainstream as a key ingredient in hummus, this rich, creamy, nutty-flavored paste has plenty more, even better, ways to shine.
Check out our recipes page and learn how one ingredient can bring so many tastes to the plate.
The word tahini is derived from the Arabic word tahina, which means "to grind". Processing tahini required multiple stages of work (let alone the labor intense harvesting of the sesame seeds, which is entirely manual to this day). The sesame seeds are soaked in water to remove the kernels, then toasted, and pressed to produce an oily paste. It is much more difficult to process tahini than sesame oil, which is extracted from the sesame seeds and was in use thousands of years before the first tahini appeared. No wonder tahini initially was identified with those who have money and can afford to indulge.
Photos: Making Tahini with traditional millstones at Al Yasmin in Abu Ghosh, near Jerusalem.