Sesame seeds are used dried, ground or whole. In Central Europe, sesame is more commonly used for baking bread but in Asia many dishes are prepared with sesame seeds. They are often baked with sweets or served with meat and fish in a crispy sesame crust.
Sesame comes from Asia and is one of the oldest cultivated plants worldwide. For decades, the small seeds have been cultivated in Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates, as well as in India and Africa. Today, the main sesame producing countries are Nicaragua, Mexico, China and Turkey.
see Anne Iburg "Dumont Little Spice Encyclopedia", Eggolsheim, Dörfler Verlag GmbH