If you’re a hummus lover, you must have Tahini at home to satisfy your cravings for Middle Eastern dips and salads. Tahini is a creamy paste made from ground sesame seeds and is also known as sesame butter.
Tahini has versatile uses and is often used as a salad dressing to add the wonderful umami flavor to greenies.
But if you’re unsure about using the leftover Tahini, which has been lying in the pantry for quite some time, then read on.
Does Tahini Go Bad? The Short & Sweet Summary
Unlike sesame seeds, Tahini does not have a very long shelf life, but it can be kept fresh and fit for consumption past its best-by date. Tahini tends to go bad if it has been opened and put out in the pantry for months.
Nevertheless, Tahini has an adequate shelf life, and it won’t spoil that quickly if it’s stored properly. You can extend the shelf life of Tahini by keeping it in an airtight container and away from heat sources since it’s sensitive to high temperatures.
What Is Tahini?
Tahini is a paste that is produced from toasted and grounded sesame seeds. The seeds are usually soaked in salty water to help the sesame bran separate from the kernel and settle down. The seeds are then collected, toasted for enhanced flavor, and grounded with olive oil into a thick oily paste.
Tahini is chiefly used as a condiment in Middle-eastern dishes and desserts. It is sludge-like with a creamy and nutty texture, which helps enhance the taste of dips, stews, salads, and soups.
You can easily prepare Tahini at home by soaking high-quality, fresh sesame seeds and toasting them later to prepare them for the grinding. Add a pinch of salt along with olive oil, and grind it to a nutty, creamy texture.
How Long Can It Last?
Since Tahini consists mostly of oils, it prevents the growth of microbial organisms and can be consumed even after quite some time. It may deteriorate in quality since oils tend to become rancid over time.
That’s why you may want to chuck out your tahini bottle after a few months because of quality concerns. This is also why Tahini comes with a best-by date than an expiration date to help gauge the freshness of the product.
But here’s the good news.
You can extend its freshness and quality with some smart storage ideas.
Ideal Time Frames
It’s important to note that some brands and manufacturers use stabilizers and other preservatives to extend the product’s quality. In contrast, organic tahini paste does not contain such added ingredients and therefore is prone to lose its quality quickly.
The degradation speeds up once the jar is opened, and therefore it’s advised to store the product sensibly. You can keep Tahini either in the fridge or the pantry cabinet. Unopened Tahini lasts for more than 6 months, whereas opened Tahini should be used within 2-3 months for best quality.
Signs To Tell If Tahini Has Gone Bad
You can easily tell if Tahini has gone bad. One of the easiest ways is to smell it. If the paste gives off a rancid odor, then it’s a wise idea to throw it in the bin.
The odd odor occurs due to rancidity, which is not severely harmful to health, but it can adversely affect the smell and taste of the paste. If the jar of Tahini has greenish specks all over, the chances are that the Tahini has developed mold. By all means, throw it in the trash bin!
If the Tahini looks perfectly fine, you can also double-check by tasting it. If it tastes stale or rancid, throw it out too.
How To Properly Store Tahini
Now you must be wondering how to best store your opened jar of Tahini that can last you for a few more dips and salads.
Well, it’s always a great idea to refrigerate opened Tahini. Keep in mind the following tips to prolong the best quality of your Tahini.
- Keep it in a cool, dry place away from humidity and heat sources.
- Kitchen cabinets are an appropriate place to store unopened Tahini jars.
- Ensure that the lid of an opened jar of Tahini is tightly closed before you put it into the fridge.
- Do not refrigerate your Tahini if you plan on using the entire product within a few weeks.
- Refrigerated Tahini may come out with a thick, hard, and ice-cream-like texture. So it’s a good idea to let it sit for at least 15 minutes before using it.
- You can fix hardened or thickened Tahini by scooping out the amount you want from the jar and blending it in a hand blender with a bit of water or oil.
- Organic and pure Tahini tends to separate. The oils separate and come on top while the solids settle down below. The separation can be fixed with a whisk, a hand mixer, or a blender to restore the creamy consistency.
- Do not refrigerate if it’s defined by the brand not to. It’s always best to follow the instruction given by the manufacturer.
Tahini: The Summary
Tahini has a reasonable shelf life and does not spoil easily or quickly. But the sesame-based product can go rancid over time. It is always safe to throw out rancid Tahini for quality concerns. Always store opened Tahini in the fridge with a tightly closed lid.