From the Syrian specialty barazek to the famous tahini, sesame seeds are pretty much a staple food here in the Arab world. Sprinkling it across your bowl of salad or when making the yummiest zaatar, simsim is pretty much all we need in our lives. But did you know these 15 facts about the seed? Here we go:

1. Domesticated over 3000 years ago, sesame seeds are one of the oldest oilseed crops known to humanity

2. The world harvested 4.8 million metric tonnes of sesame seeds in 2013

3. Early Assyrians believed their gods drank sesame wine

4. The "Open Sesame" phrase in "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" reflects the process of the sesame seed upon maturing and bursting (open) from its pod

5. Sesame is mixed with sumac and thyme to make zaatar

6. Sesame is key ingredient to haleweh, the Middle Eastern confection

7. Thought to have first originated in India and then later introduced throughout the Middle East, Africa, and Asia

8. Sesame seeds were brought to the United States from Africa during the late 17th century

9. Good source of dietary proteins

10. The plant is called a "survivor crop" because of its ability to survive drought

11. Sesame seed is gluten-free

12. Sesame is used to make tahini (sesame seeds are toasted, battered, and mixed with sesame oil)

13. Sesame seeds are rich in dietary elements, great for women going through menopause

14. Myanmar has the greatest world production of sesame. In 2010, it produced over 722 million tons of seeds (18.84% of world production)

15. The largest commercial producers of sesame seeds include India, China and Mexico