Monday, October 20, 2008

Black Sesame - the food trend I love

Black sesame ice cream, black sesame cake, black sesame creme brulee, black sesame mochi, black sesame mochi ice cream, black sesame sauce, black sesame paste, black sesame soup, black sesame dim sum, black sesame gelato....

Is it just me or is this the new trend in desserts? Especially among Asian (or Asian-inspired) restaurants, the black sesame could be the new red bean! According to Betty Hall from LA Times, not only is the black sesame taking America by storm, it's wildly popular in Europe as well.

Growing up, I've always had black sesame in my food. Many Korean dishes call for it, but never had I had it in a delicious dessert until I tried the Sesame Bean Sensation ($7.50) at Royal/T cafe, located in Culver City, CA. It was a layered cake with gray sesame cream filling. The nutty and sophisticated taste of the black sesame with the girly sweetness of the fruity cake got me hooked. Ever since then, I've been on the look out for black sesame anything.

When I went to LAND in the Upper West Side in New York, I was only slightly surprised to see that they served black sesame ice cream with their warm chocolate cake ($6). Since they are considered to be one of the hippest new restaurants in town, my obsession was validated. See, I know when things are cool.

Now I'm staking out more places in LA for black sesame desserts. I already have a list and I'm going to start at Scoops for the black sesame gelato. I hope they have the flavor when I go, though. They change their flavors so often and I can't seem to time it right to get the flavors that I want.

To get some black sesame goodness in LA, check out Royal/T cafe. Their hours are pretty limited so get out of work early to go (or go on a weekend)!

Royal/T Cafe
Neighborhood: Culver City
8910 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 559-6300

To get your dose of black sesame in NYC, you won't have to look too hard but if you're in the Upper West Side, you should check out LAND (for their awesome peanutty vegetable dumplings as well).

Neighborhood: Manhattan/Upper West Side
450 Amsterdam Ave
(between 81st St & 82nd St)
New York, NY 10024
(212) 501-8121

Scoops has black sesame gelato! I'm totally getting a pint for Thanksgiving!
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