A Global Sesame Shortage Puts Tahini in Peril. Can Israel Save It?

The civil war in Ethiopia is causing a worldwide sesame shortage, thus threatening the manufacture of increasingly popular tahini. Will the solution come from Israel? Local scientists, chefs and farmers weigh in

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Ronit Vered
Ronit Vered
Ronit Vered
Ronit Vered

A thin stream of tahini oozed slowly between the millstones, and an intoxicating nutty scent wafted above the press in Abu Ghosh, west of Jerusalem. Zvi Peleg couldn’t suppress a broad grin. It was a rare moment. A researcher of crops genetics and physiology, the boyish-faced professor generally maintains a restrained, somewhat grim expression. But the dedicated scientist, who has devoted years to studying the sesame plant, now opened up.

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