Sesame seeds are an ancient seed that has been used as a food dating back to 3000 b.c. The tiny seeds come in many varieties including brown (unhulled), black, white (hulled) and red. The nutty flavored sesame seeds are used in savory dishes as well as sweets. They are commonly used sprinkled atop, breads, rolls, and even sushi.
White, hulled sesame seeds are a common grocery store item. The unhulled seeds can be found in health food stores. Whole Foods sells them in their bulk foods department.
I use unhulled sesame seed as a coating for baked chicken. The seeds are crunchy, high in protein and good fats.
Iri goma is a Japanese ingredient which are toasted sesame seeds. Toasting the seeds brings our the rich nutty flavor. Typically the seeds are coarsely ground using a sesame seed grinder and used to top sushi, rice or vegetable dishes.