Country of origin: USA
As far as can be determined, sesame is the world's oldest oil-producing plant. With the possible exception of Africa and Asia, where sesame is eaten more like a grain, people throughout the world value sesame primarily for the oil which is pressed from it. This oil is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, important in light of current nutrition research. It makes a good choice for cooking oil or salad dressings. African slaves brought sesame seeds to this country because they were considered good luck. In Africa they were called "benne" seeds, and you might see them called for under this name in Southern cookbooks.