The artisanal tahini from SoCo has an exceptionally satiny, creamy texture and a fresh-tasting, roasted nutty taste. It’s made with merely one ingredient: slow-roasted, stone-ground sesame seeds from Ethiopia, where superior seeds grow. This tahini isn’t just for hummus; you might spread it on toast, drizzle it over ice cream, or even eat a spoonful or two straight from the jar. The company also produces flavored varieties, which is unusual for tahini. One is blended with pure date syrup and has a subtle sweetness. You can use it in a sandwich, substituting it for peanut butter and jelly, or for baking. The other choice combines a pesto mix, which makes an easy pasta or vegetable sauce, or dip. All have no added sugar, are nut-free, and vegan. Israeli-born Goni Light and Dana Harary co-founded the New York company three years ago after moving to the United States and finding they missed the tahini they grew up with. The types they found here on store shelves were disappointing, and unlike the delicate, creamy spreads they were accustomed to in Israel. “We look at tahini like wine or coffee for its taste, texture, and aroma,” says Light. “It’s the queen in Middle Eastern cuisine.” So putting politics aside, they partnered with a Palestinian family-owned company that has long produced their favorite tahini. “They’ve had the perfect recipe for a lot of generations,” Light says. It’s the reason the women named their company SoCo, which stands for seeds of collaboration. Additionally, the founders recognize that tahini is becoming trendy. “Look what happened to hummus,” says Harary ($12 for a 13.4-ounce jar; $14 for a box of 10 1.5-ounce squeeze packs). SoCo donates a portion of its proceeds to MEET, a nonprofit partnering with MIT to fund start-up businesses between Israeli and Palestinian students studying technology and entrepreneurship. Available at City Feed and Supply, 672 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, 617-524-1700; Good Health Natural Foods, 1630 Hancock St., Quincy, 617-773-4925; or at eatsoco.com and amazon.com.
ANN TRIEGER KURLAND
Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.