Does the expression “Open sesame!” have anything to do with sesame seeds?
Sesame seeds burst open when they ripen, so the phrase may be related to that fact. The English word sesame traces back to the Arabic word simsim. Sesame seeds are believed to be one of the first condiments as well as one of the first plants to be used for edible oil, and its usage dates to 3000 B.C.E. The earliest recorded use of the sesame seed comes from an Assyrian myth that claims that the gods drank sesame wine the night before they created the earth. More than 5,000 years ago, the Chinese burned sesame oil as a light source and also to make soot for their ink blocks. Today, sesame seeds are a source of food and oil in different parts of the world, including the United States. Sesame seed oil is still the main source of fat used in cooking in the Near East.