Although black sesame is rarely known as a flavor in the West, it is extremely popular in East Asian countries, including Japan. Black sesame paste, along with red bean paste, is an common occurrence in traditional Asian desserts. It's in fashion anew in Western sweets like ice cream.(Shen Lu/MEDILL)

Although black sesame is rarely known as a flavor in the West, it is extremely popular in East Asian countries, including Japan. Black sesame paste, along with red bean paste, is a common occurrence in traditional Asian desserts. (Shen Lu/MEDILL)