Soom Tahini is the tahini used in many of the hottest restaurant kitchens across the nation. Everyone from Michael Solomonov of Zahav to Alon Shaya of Shaya is proclaiming it’s the best they’ve ever tasted.
Soom is a Philadelphia-based, certified women-owned company started by Amy, Shelby, and Jackie Zitelman—three very hard-working sisters.
Their mission is to re-introduce sesame as a super food and “harvest the natural powers of the ancient sesame seed to inspire delicious cuisine, healthy people, and happy communities.” Soom is all natural, kosher, gluten free, dairy free, vegan, and made in a peanut free facility. Most importantly, it’s delicious.
I chatted with Amy Zitelman a few weeks ago.
What inspired you to start making and selling tahini?
In short: Shelby (my oldest sister) had a business degree, Jackie (middle sister) married a sesame expert, and I needed a job…
But really, Shelby was living in Israel when Omri (Jackie’s now-husband, then boyfriend) introduced them to tahini made from White Humera sesame seeds from Ethiopia. Omri is in the sesame industry in Ethiopia.
We had never known that tahini could taste good—let alone much about tahini at all—and realized there was an opportunity to introduce high quality tahini to the American market. Tahini is delicious, nutritious, and versatile. We were excited about the opportunity.
Where are you from? Where did you grow up?
We grew up in Rockville, MD (outside DC). Jackie moved to Israel in ’08; she and Omri live in Jerusalem. Shelby and I live in Philadelphia.
What are your future plans for growth?
We have truly enjoyed introducing Soom to the restaurant industry. So many incredible chefs are cooking with innovative, high quality, thoughtfully sourced ingredients now, and we are really proud that more and more are looking for good tahini.
For future growth, we hope to see Soom in more home kitchens across the country. We want to make it more available online and hopefully on retail shelves across the country.
We also have a chocolate spread. It’s truly our (guiltless) indulgence, but we see opportunity for sweet tahini, too.
Learn more about Soom, and why it’s a such a super food in this short video below.
If you’re not already cooking and baking with tahini, you must! Some of my new favorite recipes using tahini are: Danielle Oron’s Overnight Tahini Oats and Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies, Deborah Perelman’s Carrot Tahini Muffins, Molly Yeh’s Halvah Stuffed Challah, and Dolly & Oatmeal’s Chickpea Bean Bowl with Toasted Breadcrumbs and Dill/Tahini. Also check out Food 52’s 11 Sweet Ways to Use Tahini in addition to the recipes in the photos above (click the blue for the link) and the Lemon Tahini Dressing below.
Lemon Tahini Dressing
Courtesy of Soom Foods
This is so simple and so delicious! It’s my new favorite dressing drizzled on any kind of salad.
1/2 cup Soom Tahini
3/4 cup water
4 tbsp. lemon juice
1 small garlic clove minced
salt and pepper to taste
Whisk ingredients together.