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How does your tahini taste?

rawlizardrawlizard Raw Newbie

I just bought my very first tahini. Unfortunately where I live I can't get the raw version, so I got the canned version. I was wondering if the bitter aftertaste is normal... I made a salad dressing with lemon and spring onions but I was not able to finish it!

Does this happens with the non-raw version only? The taste was a real turn off for me, but there must be something else to it, otherwise it wouldn't be a very popular ingredient... How does your tahini taste?



  • Raw CurlsRaw Curls Raw Newbie

    If you can get sesame seeds and blend them into a butter you'll get a better result. It can be on the bitter side, I don't use it much except in hummus.

  • i make my own tahini -- it's ridiculously easy and much cheaper! i haven't noticed a bitter aftertaste. i often blend it with other ingredients to make hummus or salad dressings or whatever, but i also use it plain as a condiment - delish on sandwiches. either way, any bitterness is too subtle for me to notice.

    it could be the brand you are using.

  • 1sweetpea1sweetpea Raw Newbie

    Stay away from anything in a can. Who knows what they had to add to preserve it. Also, it could be rancid, which will certainly accentuate the bitterness. Best to source out some truly raw, unhulled seeds and make your own tahini. The key to reducing the bitterness is to soak the unhulled seeds (even hulled seeds will benefit from a bit of soaking) for an hour or two, then grinding them. I buy an organic raw tahini at my health food store. It's very good. Recently, I grabbed the non-raw one from the fridge by accident. Although the toasty smell was appealing, I found it more bitter than the raw version. Tahini in traditional preparations, such as hummus, baba ganouj and the tahini sauce for falafel, is awesome, but I don't use it much for anything else, because the bitterness causes me a bit of acid reflux, as does toasted sesame oil in Asian cuisine. I love it, but it doesn't love me so much.

  • PamPam

    Unhulled tahini is very bitter. Hulled is not as bitter.

    Rawguru.com sells a hulled raw tahini that I've had and ordered from other sources as well. It isn't horribly bitter, but it still isn't what I would call tasty!

    Add more lemon or lime to cut down on bitter. I also like to use orange juice in dressings to mask bitterness.

  • ladydaventryladydaventry Raw Newbie

    I love tahini! I eat it straight from the jar!! Unfortunately I cannot find raw tahini in the UK so I use a light organic one. The dark version is bitter. A big bag of carrots and a jar of tahini makes me a very happy lady indeed!!

  • ajchanterajchanter Raw Newbie

    Hey ladydaventry!

    For the Uk, have you tried Shazzie (shazzie.com). She is UK based and sells raw tahini in her store (http://www.detoxyourworld.com/).

    But you do have to order online.


  • ladydaventryladydaventry Raw Newbie

    And it's uber expensive, given the rate I demolish the stuff!!!! I have seen it at the Whole Foods Market. Perhaps one day when I'm feeling flush...

  • wichtenwichten Raw Newbie

    i grind my own too. Tahini can be bitter if its kind of rancid. Grind your own, its so light tasting and not nearly so oily.

  • TomsMomTomsMom Raw Newbie

    The bitterness is from the hull. The thing is, after a few tries, you can't taste the bitterness anymore. At least, I don't notice it much at all now. Remember that if you want the loads of calcium from tahini, you must use unhulled seeds, since most of the calcium is in the hull. But if you're really sensitive to bitter, a bit of sweetner and salt makes it very bearable.

    I grind my own tahini. I get the seeds bulk, just under $4 a pound. I know they are alive because I sprout some from every batch to be sure, before I grind the rest. It's awesome to know you have truly fresh, raw tahini!

    I guess you can chance using hulled seeds to make tahini without the bitterness, but there's no guarantee they are really hulled without heat. I don't see how it can be done, unless chemicals are used. I"m just guessing that the so-called "water method" I've heard about uses chemicals, but I could be very wrong.

  • rawlizardrawlizard Raw Newbie

    Thank you so much for all your commments. I would love to make my own tahini, do you need a high speed blender? I don't have one...

  • TomsMomTomsMom Raw Newbie

    Rawlizard, it's such a pain to grind the whole seeds using a normal blender. I really had an awful time using my normal blender and even my coffee grinder.

    Then my folks gave me an Omega auger-type juicer for a present after I had been on the raw diet for one year. Previously I had tried to grind whole sesame seeds in my mother's Champion juicer, but it shot the seeds right back out of the feed chute, haha. BUT, the Omega juicer was slow enough to grab the seeds and crush them.

    What I do is I refeed the paste back into the Omega several times. As it warms, the oils come out, and those oils are the key to making a good paste. The Omega is pretty slow, so the paste never gets hot. Although I could not afford it on my own, it cost about $200, with free shipping.

    I don't add extra oil to my seeds, either, so the taste is pretty pure.

    If you can't afford a juicer, there are some hand-powered grinders out that I've heard people talk about, not flour mills, but the ones that grind corn. I wish I could remember who said that. OR you could have fun and get one of those Japanese grinding bowls with the grooves that are specifically made for grinding sesame seed.

  • okraokra Raw Newbie

    hi tomsmom-

    maybe the Japanese grinding bowls is this one?:


    i used make non raw tahini with them all the time, but with raw sesame seed, its just too hard for me to do with out add water or oil...

    i'm still looking for good way to make creamy raw tahini. (tahini is the one of my fav food!)

    i tried with my omega but (maybe i wasn't patient) i couldn't get more far than crashed sesame seeds looking and texture.

    make own creamy raw tahini is my raw mission and i love to know which hand-powered grinders work for tahini....!

    i'm thinking about to get like this one:


    but its little expensive to give it a try.

    does anyone used them before?

  • TahiniMakerTahiniMaker Raw Newbie

    Since tahinis are available in different types and kind, then it also have variety of taste. A fresh and raw tahini is actually not appealing to your taste buds because it is really bitter, unlike peanut butter or other nuts it is not naturally sweet in flavor.

  • CatherineRCatherineR Raw Superstar

    I get locally made tahini and it's pretty dang bitter. It magically goes away in a lot of dessert dishes though I have yet to make a raw hummus with it that I enjoy. 

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