I have a serious allergy to sesame. (Mostly, it seems, to the seeds rather than to the oil; as with many allergies, it's the proteins that cause the problem.) I'm careful to check ingredient lists for sesame, and also for tahini (which is just sesame paste).
A few weeks ago, I bought a stack of heat-and-serve Indian food packets. At 300g apiece, one of them makes a decent meal when combined with pasta or rice. They're convenient to bring along to places where I can't get a good meal at a reasonable price, such as visiting a friend in the hospital, and have good flavour and reasonable nutritional value. They're not very expensive, usually between $1.50 and $2, and have an unrefrigerated shelf life of a year or two. And though sesame doesn't seem to be used much in Indian cookery (according to staff at Indian restaurants I've been to), I did check the ingredients before I bought them.
This evening, I was heating up the contents of a packet of a pineapple sweet and sour curry in the microwave oven. Sounded yummy; I'd been looking forward to trying that one. While I was waiting for the food to finish heating, for lack of anything else to read (and needing to be reading something, as usual), I was looking over the food package again. And the word "sesame" caught my eye in the French ingredients list... as in, "Graines de sesame hydrogenee", between "Piment rouge" and "Moutarde". I went back to the English version: "Red chilli, Gingelly, Mustard". Then the German version: "Cayennepfeffer, Til, Senf".
It never occurred to me that "gingelly" wasn't... well, just some kind of spice I'd never heard of. I thought it might be a misspelling of "galingale". If anything, it reminds me of Allan McFee and "Mom Nifkin's jellied gin". Who knew that it meant sesame? Apart from everyone who speaks... Hindi, I suppose.
That "hydrogenated sesame seeds" in French just sounds weird. But I don't know if they mean the oil instead of the seed, or if there was some other kind of translating error. I decided that it wasn't safe for me to eat that dish — sure, a hospital is the best place to be when you're having an anaphylactic attack, but really, it's better just not to go there. Instead, I got an overpriced slice of wilted substandard vegetarian pizza from the cafeteria and picked out as much of the onion and olives as I could.
Now I think I need to find all the possible translations of "sesame" in current use, so I can be more careful to avoid them. I learned two more this evening: "gingelly" (and several spelling variants) and "til". (I note that my German dictionary translates "sesame" to "Indischer Sesam", i.e., "Indian sesame", which is doubly weird.)