At the Shanghai Chinese restaurant, the children quickly savored the sweet nutty cold sesame noodles, before the other dishes arrived. Taken by the Assyrian Gods as wine, and by Indians as massage oil, sesame seeds come as three main varieties: white, brown and black. They are sold as whole seeds, ground, as pastes or as oil. The seeds have a buttery, earthy taste with a nutty sweet aroma, and after roasting, acquire additional flavor nuances. They are popular in the Middle East where they are made into tahini to flavor hummus, added to sweets, or pars with thyme in zahtar to zip up dips, meats or vegetables. It is also popular in Muslim-style savory dishes or as garnishes for Japanese and Chinese confections, steamed vegetables and grilled meats.