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Sea Island Benne Seeds

Enslaved Africans brought benne seeds from Africa to the Carolina Sea Islands in the early 18th century and cultivated them in hidden gardens for nearly a century as a staple food seed for rice cookery. By the time of our Revolution, benne seeds and their oil had earned a place at table for rich and poor alike, and benne became the focus of intense market farming. Benne plants were consumed at every growth stage: tender young leaves, petite green seed pods similar to okra, and, at the end of the growing season, as mature dried seeds we know as sesame. When heated in cooking, new crop benne seeds possess lovely field flavors, characteristic nuttiness, and deep burnt-honey notes. Unlike modern sesame seeds, benne asserts its culinary presence by magnifying umami nuances in foods, making it unparalleled for use in both modern and historic recipes.

This product is gluten free.