LYNDHURST, Ohio – Having grown up in Israel, Dana Harary remembers that “Tahini is our peanut butter, our ketchup, our mayonnaise.” While many in the U.S. may not be familiar with tahini, Harary and the business he’s a partner in, SoCo Tahini, are doing what they can to make the versatile condiment as well-known in this country.
Made from ground sesame seeds, tahini can be added to various foods to make them creamier or more flavorful, which is often what those living in the Middle East do.
“Tahini is the queen of the pantry in the Mediterranean,” Lyndhurst resident Harary said. “We use it, basically, in everything. Personally I probably eat it three times a day at least, as a topping, as a spread, as a dressing. There are many different ways to use it. And, it’s also a cream and an emulsifier. You can turn it into dip. You can use it as a cream in your soup. It’s used in hummus, and that’s one of the most popular ways to use it.”
Harary, who said he even likes tahini in his ice cream and homemade granola, has taken a liking to one of his favorite foods and, along with fellow Israelis Yonatan Sela and Goni Light, formed SoCo Tahini. The brand is now sold at Heinen’s and select stores in the United States.
Now is a great time to try SoCo Tahini and help fight anti-Semitism and all forms of hate at the same time because throughout November, SoCo is donating 30 percent of all sales to the Anti-Defamation League . The partnership is a natural, as SoCo stands for Seeds of Collaboration.
“At our core, we’re an impact-driven brand. Our tahini is a partnership, an Israeli-Palestinian partnership,” said Harary, who moved to Cleveland in 2019 because it’s the city where she was raised his mother “For us, finding different ways to show that people from different places, communities, even communities in conflict, can accept each other, live together and thrive together is what we’re all about. So ADL is another way for us to try to promote some kind of change in mindset and bring about less difference and conflict and more acceptance.”
ADL is an anti-hate organization with a mission to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and ensure justice and fair treatment for all. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from prejudice, discrimination or hatred.
ADL Regional Director James Pasch appreciates SoCo Tahini’s efforts.
“Partnering with SoCo and his team means a lot to ADL,” said Pasch. “At a time when we have seen such a substantial rise in anti-Semitism and hatred, we need a whole-of-society approach to tackle the problem head-on. This includes our corporate and business leaders stepping up the fight against hate
“And partnering with SoCo, a company that cares so much about our mission and is dedicated to making our communities a better and stronger place for our children, is vital. I can’t thank the team enough from SoCo for their thoughtfulness and generosity. We need to come together in the fight against hate, and what better way than to bring people together over amazing food.”
While Harary acknowledges that “a lot of people don’t know what tahini is,” SoCo is looking to remedy that situation by providing more than 100 tahini recipes on its website, eatsoco.com. She said tahini can make a great gift for hosts when you visit during the holiday season. The website is the place to go to buy tahini in jars, packets and packets and to buy gift cards.
By entering the code “ADL” at checkout during the month of November, SoCo Tahini will donate 30 percent of all sales of three or more items to ADL.