Best Tahini Review!

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Jars of tahini with text on top saying saying Store-Bought Tahini Review

Along with cashew butter and peanut butter, tahini is in a three-way-tie for being our favorite nut/seed butter.

WHAT IS TAHINI?

Tahini is made by grinding sesame seeds into a smooth paste. Sometimes the sesame seeds are hulled, sometimes they’re left unhulled; sometimes roasted, sometimes raw. We like to use tahini to make dressingssoft serve, snack bites, stuffed dates, and SO many other dishes. The possibilities are endless!

ORIGIN OF TAHINI

Tahini is an Arabic name for ground sesame seeds. However, its origins are thought to have been in Persia, where it was called “ardeh.” Tahini later found its way to Israel and was held as a delicacy as sesame seeds were rather expensive to procure. In some cultures, tahini was even used as currency. (source)

THE GROUND RULES

Despite being made with just one ingredient (sesame seeds), not all tahinis are equally delicious. So we decided to put different brands to the test!

We did a formal, side-by-side review of some of the most popular tahinis on the market. Our goal was to see which brands delivered on taste, texture, and stir-ability and which ones weren’t worth the hype, saving you the time and money of doing the research yourself!

  • We tested 9 tahinis. Some were purchased from Amazon (for accessibility’s sake) and others were from a variety of health food stores.
  • This review is not sponsored in any way. We were not given free product or compensated for any of our reviews, and we had no contact with any of these brands.
  • We excluded any products containing ingredients other than sesame seeds.
  • We tried to be as unbiased and objective as possible when reviewing.
  • We tested each tahini by the spoonful, grading on a scale of 1-5 (1 being poor, 5 being excellent) on:
    • Stir-ability
    • Taste
    • Texture
    • Overall thoughts
  • For consumer awareness, we also examined:
    • Cost per ounce (US $) — subject to variability
    • Hulled or unhulled
    • Glass or plastic jar (and whether BPA-free)
    • Quality of ingredients (i.e. organic, non-GMO, etc.)
    • If we would repurchase

RESULTS 

First, second, and third place winners in our Store-Bought Tahinis review

First place: Baron’s Organic Tahini
Second place: Soom Foods Pure Ground Sesame Tahini
Third place: Okka Organic Ground Sesame Tahini
Fourth place: Whole Foods 365 Organic Tahini
Fifth place: Trader Joe’s Organic Tahini
Sixth place: Pepperwood Organic Whole Seed Sesame Tahini
Seventh place: Al Arz 100% Pure Sesame Tahini
Eighth place: Haddar by Baracke Tahini
Ninth place: Joyva Sesame Tahini

THE REVIEW

Baron tahini for the first place winner in our Tahini Butters Review

#1: Baron’s Organic Tahini

Stir-ability: 4.75 – Only a little oil on top. Stirs really easily with almost no effort and appears runny and creamy.
Taste: 4.25 – Nutty and kind of reminiscent of cashew butter. Naturally mild sweetness and not too bitter.
Texture: 5 – About as creamy and smooth as it gets.
Overall thoughts: 4.25 – We love how easy it is to stir and how creamy it is, and the flavor was pretty delicious.
Approximate cost per ounce: $0.47
Hulled or unhulled: Hulled
Jar material: Plastic
Quality of ingredients (i.e. organic, non-GMO, etc.): Organic, non-GMO, heirloom-quality seeds

Overall score: 18.25/20
Would we repurchase? Yes

Jar of Soom Tahini for the second place in our review of store-bought tahinis

#2: Soom Foods Pure Ground Sesame Tahini

Stir-ability: 4 – Has a ~1 inch visible layer of oil on top, however, the tahini on the bottom is creamy and soft and takes only a little effort to stir.
Taste: 5 – Not too bitter. Really buttery. Tastes exactly as you’d hope tahini would taste.
Texture: 4.25 – A little more effort to stir and a little grittiness remains, but overall quite smooth.
Overall thoughts: 4.5 – Taste is near perfect, but some others had a slightly creamier texture.
Approximate cost per ounce: $0.72
Hulled or unhulled: Hulled
Jar material: Plastic
Quality of ingredients (i.e. organic, non-GMO, etc.): Single-sourced origin

Overall score: 17.75/20
Would we repurchase? Yes

Jar of Okka Organic Tahini for our review of the Best Brands of Tahini

#3: Okka Organic Ground Sesame Tahini

Stir-ability: 4.75 – Only a little layer of oil on top. Stirs easily and appears very creamy and runny.
Taste: 3.75 – Salty although no added salt in ingredients. Not too bitter and really pleasant overall.
Texture: 5 – Buttery smooth.
Overall thoughts: 4 – Everything was perfect, except that the flavor tasted a little saltier than we were hoping for (despite being unsalted).
Approximate cost per ounce: $0.61
Hulled or unhulled: Hulled
Jar material: Plastic
Quality of ingredients (i.e. organic, non-GMO, etc.): Organic, Non-GMO

Overall score: 17.5/20
Would we repurchase? Yes

Jar of Whole Foods Tahini for our review of the Best Brands of Tahini

#4: Whole Foods 365 Organic Tahini

Stir-ability: 3.5 – Oil was separated on top from seed butter portion on the bottom. Not incredibly difficult to stir, but you have to work at it for a good minute to get it to combine.
Taste: 4.5 – Noticeable, enjoyable nuttyness. Not too bitter and really pleasant.
Texture: 4.5 – Really creamy and smooth. Only complaint would be it is a little on the runny side.
Overall thoughts: 4.5 – Taste is really nice, overall easy to stir, and it has a nice creamy texture.
Approximate cost per ounce: $0.40
Hulled or unhulled: Hulled
Jar material: Plastic
Quality of ingredients (i.e. organic, non-GMO, etc.): Organic, Non-GMO

Overall score: 17/20
Would we repurchase? Yes

Jar of Trader Joe's brand tahini for our review of the Best Store-Bought Tahini Brands

#5: Trader Joe’s Organic Tahini

Stir-ability: 4 – A little oil on top, but it seems to stir without much effort at all. Can visually see a bit of subtle grittiness when stirring.
Taste: 4.5 – Mild and pleasant overall. Not too bitter and tastes high quality and fresh.
Texture: 3.75 – It leaves a slight gritty residue when swirled around the mouth.
Overall thoughts: 4.25 – Seems fresh, high-quality, really pleasant tasting. Only complaint is we wish it was a little more smooth and creamy.
Approximate cost per ounce: $0.35
Hulled or unhulled: Hulled
Jar material: Glass
Quality of ingredients (i.e. organic, non-GMO, etc.): Organic, Non-GMO

Overall score: 16.5/20
Would we repurchase? Yes

Jar of Pepperwood Unhulled Tahini for our review of the Best Tahini Brands

#6: Pepperwood Organic Whole Seed Sesame Tahini

Stir-ability: 4 – A little separation of oil on top and seed butter on bottom, but it is very runny and quite easy to stir.
Taste: 4.25 – Not too bitter on the front end, but has a bitter finish, despite being nutty and pleasant overall.
Texture: 4.25 – A little grittiness, but overall quite smooth.
Overall thoughts: 4 – Nice flavor, but could be a little less bitter and more creamy.
Approximate cost per ounce: $0.57
Hulled or unhulled: Unhulled
Jar material: Plastic
Quality of ingredients (i.e. organic, non-GMO, etc.): Organic, Non-GMO

Overall score: 16.5/20
Would we repurchase? Yes

Jar of Al Arz Tahini for our unsponsored review of tahini butters

#7: Al Arz 100% Pure Sesame Tahini

Stir-ability: 4 – A minimal layer of oil on top, but the tahini on the bottom is quite soft. It takes a little effort to stir, but overall smooth.
Taste: 3.75 – Salty, slightly tart, and not too bitter. Tastes salted even though no salt has been added.
Texture: 4.75 – Super buttery, but a little on the oily side.
Overall thoughts: 3.75 – Everything was pretty great, but the flavor tasted a little off.
Approximate cost per ounce: $0.59
Hulled or unhulled: Hulled
Jar material: Plastic
Quality of ingredients (i.e. organic, non-GMO, etc.): N/A

Overall score: 16.25/20
Would we repurchase? No

Jar of Baracke Tahini for our review of the Best Brands of Tahini

#8: Haddar by Baracke Tahini

Stir-ability: 2 – Visible layer of oil on top. Tahini underneath is stiff. It requires a lot of effort to stir and is equally clumpy and oily. Would take a lot of stirring to get it homogenous.
Taste: 4.25 – Flavor is really good — nutty, not too bitter, very smooth.
Texture: 3 – It takes so much work to stir that it ends up being clumpy and oily.
Overall thoughts: 3 – Really good flavor, really bad texture.
Approximate cost per ounce: $0.53
Hulled or unhulled: Hulled
Jar material: Plastic
Quality of ingredients (i.e. organic, non-GMO, etc.): N/A

Overall score: 12.25/20
Would we repurchase? No

Tub of Joyva Sesame Tahini for our review of Tahini Brands

#9: Joyva Sesame Tahini

Stir-ability: 1.5 – Thick layer of oil on top and the nut butter separates to the bottom. Stirring is work and it would take a lot of stirring to get it to fully combine.
Taste: 2 – Bitter and tastes like there is salt added.
Texture: 2 – Because you can’t get it to stir, there will be some oily and chunky bits and it doesn’t feel good on the palate.
Overall thoughts: 2 – So difficult to stir and the texture and flavor are off.
Approximate cost per ounce: $0.85
Hulled or unhulled: Hulled
Jar material: Metal
Quality of ingredients (i.e. organic, non-GMO, etc.): N/A

Overall score: 7.5/20
Would we repurchase? No


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Comments

  1. Jason says

    Pepperwood, Soom, and Baron’s are all the same tahini, same Ethiopian seeds processed in the same Israeli factory I’ve personally confirmed this with two of the companies. These brands as well as many others are made by Achdut Ltd of Israel.

    The only difference is the packaging…..

  2. Robby Lasman says

    Hello Dana,

    As much as it seems like an unbiased review I must comment on 2 major problems with this review:

    1. You comparing organic tahini to non organic tahini which is not right because organic sesame has totally different taste then non organic.
    2. Each sample should be taken from similar production dates: fresher tahini is less separated and much more liquefied.

  3. jess says

    You really gotta try Ziyad tahini! Not hard to stir at all, won’t separate after mixing, and really smooth! Can have some rough dry patches where the spoon doesn’t reach (and therefore won’t get stirred in with the oil) but those are honestly my favorite part! Also, it comes only in glass jars.

  4. Beth says

    Thank you for this! Incredibly helpful and I so appreciate that you told us if the jar was plastic or glass. Love your recipes and information.

    • Heidi Lapray says

      Hi Mini B,
      Thanks for the Tahini review. I wanted to tell you about our favorite Tahini -Tarazi Tahini. We live on Maui & buy it by the 12jar case because once Mana was out for a month. We tried every other tahini on the island during that time & have never found a better Tahini. We get the non-GMO non-organic glass jar version because their quality & standard are very high & that’s what we have here. Bonus is the price at Mana was $5.85 a jar a couple of years ago & is now up to $6.35! Score !! Let me know what you think.
      Aloha🌺
      Heidi

  5. Marlyse says

    Great review, but do you realize the oil separation is only a matter of how much time has passed between production and consumption? ALL tahinis will separate, given enough time. If you had all production dates identical, then I would withdraw my comment.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yes, totally. We just want to give people an idea of what our experience was. Also, we’ve found that some separate much more than others and are very difficult to stir.

  6. Anita Schecter says

    Very interesting. I grew up eating tahini so definitely have strong opinions. Agree that Soom is excellent and Joyva is bitter. It’s what I ate as a child but there was far less selection then. I’ll add that my current favorite is Roland’s tahini. Smooth, no additives, creamy with no bitterness. Sold on Amazon and in local stores near me in NY.

  7. Nicki says

    This is really helpful! Thanks! I knew Trader Joe’s tasted a lot better than Joyva, just from experience, but now I can just skip to the top of the list. Thanks for doing all the work!

  8. Jen says

    Unfortunately I’ll have to stick with bitter tahini as plastics are not an option environmentally speaking or because of the risk of breast cancer and oil stored in plastic. This is a bummer and one which I wish these companies would recognize. But thank you for the ratings!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for the feedback, Valerie! We provided that information in the review, but ultimately scored them based on flavor, texture, and freshness. Our top picks for no plastic would be Joyva, Trader’s, or homemade!

      • Valerie says

        I know. I didn’t mean it to criticize you, but the companies that use the plastic jars. I appreciate your effort to provide us with unbiased reviews and I’m glad you included that information as well. Thank you!

  9. sherri says

    Hi

    I love that you accomplished this rating, unfortunately I don’t live in the states – so none of these products are available.

    I love tahini, but I’ve yet to find one that isn’t bitter…I’ll keep searching?

      • Bobbie Jean says

        My Favorite is Wild Harvest Organic Tahini. Free From Synthetic Colors, Artificial Flavors and Artificial Preservatives. Their organic beans and organic Apple Cider Vinegar are good also.

  10. Dee / Green Smoothie Gourmet says

    Really helpful review Dana! I didn’t even know Whole Foods 365 had a tahini! Will go try that one out! Is there a reason you didn’t test Once Again brand? Thank you! Dee

  11. Teresa says

    Every time I buy TJs tahini it is oily on top and rock hard underneath. Maybe I have just got unlucky. I’ll try your top 2. Thanks!

  12. Bee says

    This is a helpful list and I’m excited to try out your top pick! I bought a jar from Trader Joe’s recently— and it was insanely bitter :(

  13. Jillian says

    Thanks for taking the time to test these! I’ve had a few and found soom to be the best but I’ll have to give #1 a shot.

    Also, tip on initial stirring: I dump all clumpy Tahini or nut butters into my vitamin and mix on low for 30 secs, then pour back into the bottle. Completely smooth and stays mostly combined until I’ve used it all :)

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