January 26th, 2019 § 1 comment

Halvah (also spelled “halva” , halawa” and “halwa”) is an ancient sweet treat created in Turkey more than 3,000 years ago. Composed of ground sesame seeds, egg whites and sugar syrup, it is HG’s pleasant dinner finale with the last of red wine. Halvah can be purchased in slices (from Zabar’s and Russ & Daughters) and online in cans, jars and other containers. HG’s favorite is ARZ Halawa from Lebanon. This has the added crunch of pistachios added to the mix. HG began savoring halvah when very young. Joyva halvah was found on the counters of every candy store, grocer and “appetizing” store in Jewish neighborhoods of The Bronx. Usually took the form of halvah bars covered in milk chocolate. Halvah was introduced to the United States in 1907 by Nathan Radutzky, a 24-year-old Russian-Jewish immigrant who arrived with a recipe and little else. He sold his halvah from pushcarts on the lower east side before establishing a factory in Brooklyn. The product was brand named “Joyva” and packages had a drawing of a Turkish sultan. The company is still in operation and still family owned. The Brooklyn factory now encompasses more than 100,000 square feet and grinds millions of pounds of sesame seeds annually.The product line has expanded to other confections. All certified kosher, of course. Orthodox Jews are major consumers.

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