They always say you want what you can't have.
It's trite, but it's true.
I found out the hard way, about a year ago, when my mean (not really) doctor took one of my favourite things away from me. That thing was hummus. Lovely, thick, salty, yummy hummus.
"You're allergic to sesame seeds," she told me. My face dropped. It can't be true? I ate hummus (made with tahini, a sesame paste) every weekend (well, two to three times a week, but who's counting) and had never had a reaction as far as I could tell. "Well you are," she continued. "You have to stop eating anything with sesame products in it."
It was – and I can't stress this strongly enough – a culinary disaster for me. Hummus had become the backbone of my diet. I had it in sandwiches at lunch, as a dip in the evenings watching TV and even as a spread on toast when I was feeling particularly peckish in the morning.
A year on, I haven't managed to get over the loss. When colleagues bring in hummus-laced salads and sandwiches for lunch I can smell them at 50 yards. That delicious chickpea mush, wafting under my nose, seems like the very scent of temptation. I must resist, I will resist. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
It's not just the hummus though. The evil sesame seed is everywhere. On rolls, in breads, scattered on salads. It's in dressings, in loads of Chinese food and, disaster for me again, encrusted around the outside of my beloved sushi. It's even in a few face creams that, predictably, I've also had to stop using.
For me the joy of sesame is a distant memory, but hopefully for you it's not. So I ask of you, plead in fact, don't take those little tear-shaped brown seeds for granted. I did. Now they're gone, along with the hummus.
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