Now that hummus is the new salsa, it’s time to get to know the essential but less famous ingredient of that chickpea and garlic spread: tahini. The ground sesame seed paste is not only a staple element of hummus (and Mediterranean cuisine in general), but it’s also at the heart of Denver-based, Israeli-born entrepreneur Gadi Friedman’s year-old business, Sesame Kingdom. Growing up, Friedman ate tahini as a simple sauce with garlic and lemon. He knew, however, that sweet-toothed Americans might need a flavor boost to embrace the slightly bitter but incredibly nutritious paste. So he turned to another common Israeli ingredient—dates—to sweeten all six Sesame Kingdom spreads (beet, strawberry, date, carob chocolate, pomegranate, and fig). Friedman grinds organic Tunisian dates and Ethiopian sesame seeds with other natural flavoring agents between traditional granite wheels for 48 hours to create the innovative snack, which is balanced, nutty, and melt-in-your-mouth smooth. Our prediction? Sesame Kingdom’s tahini spreads will become the new peanut butter.

Three Things that Sesame Kingdom’s Tahini Spreads Make Better: 
1. Your post-gym smothie
2. Your favorite carb (waffles, toast, pancakes)
3. Your game-day crudité platter (thin with lemon juice and water to use as a dip)

This article was originally published in 5280 October 2017.
Callie Sumlin
Callie Sumlin
Callie Sumlin is a writer living in Westminster, and has been covering food and sustainability in the Centennial State for more than five years.