Sesame seeds are available in a variety of colours including brown, red, black, yellow and ivory; the darker seeds are said to have the most flavour. European cooks use sesame seeds to garnish bread, biscuits and pastries. However, they're used much more extensively in Asian, South American and African cuisines, in both sweet and savoury dishes.
Sesame seeds work particularly well with chicken and other meats and in warm salads and salad dressings. They also add a distinctive flavour to stir-fried and rice dishes. Ground sesame seeds are used to make tahini, a smooth paste commonly added to Middle Eastern dishes.