The ”star” of the Middle East cuisines, a favorite ingredient in old recipes of Smyrna. The much-discussed superfood of the modern Greek diet. From such a simple material of nature, sesame, tahini comes. Selected sesame seeds are processed, peeled and dried, roasted, ground and mashed, our well-known and favorite tahini.
Several years ago, the neighborhoods of Rodopi were full of tahini and halva workshops. Nowadays, there are remarkable efforts by skilled makers of tahini who lovingly practice their skills in many parts of Greece. You will find top-quality and flavorful tahini (plain or wholemeal) at the Rizopoulos coffee shop, to combine it wonderfully with your coffee, but also to include it in your cooking. You can get it both from the store and in our e-shop.
Incorporate tahini in your diet
Tahini offers multiple health benefits, as evidenced by scientific studies and research. Its enormous nutritional value makes it an essential component of our daily diet. According to the database, one serving of tahini (2 tablespoons) contains 178 calories, 16 grams of fat (only 2 saturated, the rest monounsaturated and polyunsaturated), 6 grams of carbohydrates (3 grams of fiber and 0 grams of sugar) and 5 grams protein. It also covers 30% of our daily needs for thiamine, 24% for magnesium, 22% for phosphorus, 14% for iron, and 12% for calcium.
The lignans, sesame, and sesame seeds contained in sesame seeds are effective in lowering cholesterol and preventing hormone-related cancers. According to the scientific journal Nutrition Research, consuming 40 grams of tahini a day helps to reduce the average total and LDL (“bad cholesterol”) by 6.4% and 9.5% after 4 weeks, respectively.
The good fats in tahini limit the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. In addition, the calcium and magnesium contained in sesame seeds naturally lower blood pressure, while magnesium is particularly helpful in bone health and minimizing the risk of osteoporosis in women.
These and many other benefits are offered by tahini, strengthening our immune system. Good health is complemented by its irresistible taste, which is another reason to join our diet.
Delicious combinations with tahini
Even plain, tahini is wonderful. Just take a spoon and feel the full taste and energy it gives you. But it is just as delicious in other combinations, some of which are revealed to us by Mrs. Eleni, the “soul” of the Rizopoulos coffee house. If the road takes you to the store on Streit Street, you can ask us and find out where and how you can use the tahini. We give you some small tips to see the possibilities that this food offers while learning the secrets and wisdom of the old ones for tahini.
Tahini tips and secrets from the “mom” of the store
As Mrs. Eleni explains to us, tahini was a daily habit for the people of Smyrna.
Her grandmother put some tahini in the Greek coffee, mixed it, and accompanied it with her breakfast, her toast, her bread, and everything else she had. That gave her incredible energy.
Another favorite habit of the grandmother was to spread the tahini on the slice of bread and toss a little honey and sometimes cinnamon on top.
Another nice sweet that Mrs. Eleni remembers is the so-called tahini pie that the people of Asia Minor made on Good Friday. It is made with tahini, water, nuts, walnuts, black and white raisins, and it becomes an amazing fasting cake, that even rises like a usual dough.
She still remembers the tahini soup her grandmother used to make. She used to add water and instead of butter, tahini with ground vegetables (carrot, celery, zucchini, etc.), a little oil, pepper, and it was ready, like velvet soup.
Mrs. Eleni also emphasizes that the people of Asia Minor ate tahini and halva. The halva was like a dessert after the meal and they enjoyed it with cinnamon and lemon on top. After all, as Mrs. Eleni tells us, halva is based on sesame oil, as well as the tahini we consume today: we mix the sesame oil that is on top with the ground sesame and put it on the bread. So we get the benefits of nutritious and healthy sesame oil.
A sweet recipe: Chocolate bites with tahini
The tahini chocolates match the exquisite, authentic Greek Rizopoulos coffee. Once you try it you will not want to stop.
Top and bottom wafers or cookies, in between tahini, if you want to add a little almond, leave them to thicken in the fridge and dip them in dark chocolate. We put them to cool on parchment paper and they are ready to enjoy. This recipe is based on this delicious treat that you will find in our store.
This is what the “mom” of the store tells us so nicely and tells us that, as the years go by, tahini is combined with more and more ingredients. The people of Smyrna ate tahini because they knew it was invigorating and knew from experience all its benefits.
These little tips bring old wisdom to the present. Get the appetite and have the imagination to try tahini in the combinations you love. Don’t forget that you can get your favorite tahini from both the store and our e-shop.