Seeds. They have been around for as long as any of us can remember: whether we’re garnishing salads, mixing into recipes or simply enjoying on their own. But do any of us really know our seed history? We’ve picked three very special seeds and explored each of their history..
First up the very popular sunflower seeds. The sunflower originated in North America although sunflower seeds were commercialised in years to come in Russia. However, it was Indian tribes who were the first to use the sunflower seeds. Often grounded or pounded into flour, which would then be added into cake or bread mixtures. Some tribes even added it to various vegetable dishes but also the majority of tribes would crack open the sunflower seeds and enjoy them on their own as a snack.
Shortly after, Indian tribes began squeezing the oils out of sunflower seeds, which they would also add into their cooking and bread mixtures. By 1830 sunflower oil was produced on a large commercial scale throughout Russia. The Russians sunflower seeds and oil quickly travelled the world, reaching America in the 1880’s.
The earliest record of sesame seeds being used as food comes from an Assyrian myth that claims the Gods drank sesame wine the night before they created the Earth. Although, with sesame seeds being the oldest garnish there are many records dating back 5,000 years of different people using it throughout countries. The Chinese used to burn the sesame oil for a light source and African slaves brought them back to America, although they referred to them as “Benne’ Seeds” and quickly sesame seeds became a popular ingredient in Southern American food.
As sesame seeds are well known for their oils they were used in some of the earliest recorded condiments and are still used to this day as oil for cooking.
Pumpkins and pumpkin seeds are native to America with the word “pepita” being strongly linked to the plant and its Mexican heritage. The Spanish phrase “pepita de calabaza” means “little seed of squash”. Pumpkin seeds were a celebrated food amongst Native American Tribes, treasured for dietary and medical properties. It’s great popularity in America didn’t take long to spread around the world and the seeds quickly became part of everyday cooking and eating throughout Europe, with India and Asia being particularly drawn to their medical properties too.
There you have it, a little bit of history into three of our favourite seeds of all time. If all this seed talk has made you a little peckish or you fancy getting creative in the kitchen with seed recipes then head over to our online shop, to our extensive variety of seeds which are enough to inspire any serious snacker or chef!