Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sesame Place

If you've been to Zahav, the Israeli tapas restaurant that's one of Philadelphia's best places to dine, you know all about the silky hummus. Its not-so-secret ingredient? Soom Foods' tahina, a puree derived from sesame seeds. Tahina's use is not limited to being blended with mashed chickpeas, though; it can be used in sauces, marinades, sweet spreads and even baked goods.

Soom was started in 2012 by the Zitelman sisters, two of whom - Shelby and Amy - make their home in Philadelphia. Their sister Jackie had moved to Israel, eventually marrying tehina expert Omri Horvitz, who introduced the three to tehina made from Ethiopian sesame seeds.  They loved it, and realized the “tahini” in the United States was misrepresenting the true product.

Choosing an internationally established factory in northern Israel, Soom Foods' all natural, gluten-free tehina is imported stateside and used in dishes at the all-gluten-free Pure Fare and Agno Grill in Center City and other area restaurants, including Eat-A-Pita (which serves gluten-free pitas), Vge Cafe, North Bowl, Sprig & Vine and Citron + Rose.

It's available for purchase locally at Swarthmore Co-op, Weavers Way Co-op, Milk & Honey Market, Essene Market, Green Aisle, Bunn's Natural Foods, Big Bear Natural Foods and Martindale's Natural Market.
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