Different Types of Tahini
You’ll usually find these different varieties of tahini in your local health food store or “natural/ ethnic” section of the supermarket:
Raw, hulled, unhulled, light and dark roast.
Usually the level of bitterness and nutritional value go hand in hand, except when it comes to a darker roast. Here is an approximate ranking of nutritional value and flavor from highest nutritional content to lowest:
- Raw unhulled (bitter, and much thicker than roasted)
- Raw hulled (less bitter, but still thick)
- Light roast unhulled (semi-bitter, but smoother in texture)
- Dark roast unhulled (a bit more bitter, but with a deep flavor and texture somewhere in between that of raw and light roast)
- Light roast hulled (sweet and smooth, good for replacing cream or adding to smoothies)
- Dark roast hulled (deeper flavor, a bit more bitter, but not compared to unhulled. Also, the texture is usually thicker than that of the hulled light roast)
Tahini is sold both “fresh” and dehydrated. I have never tried the dehydrated version, but I assume it would be good for traveling. In general though, if you’re not moving around, I would go for the fresh variety.
At the Gentle World Educational Center, we’ve been lucky enough to receive quality product donations over the years from Once Again Nut Butter, Living Tree Community and Sunshine International Foods. Sunshine International Foods light and medium roast tahini have a particularly delicious flavor.
Next: Nutritional content and health benefits of tahini