merlin

Member
Turkish Halva - the "cure-all"
The food that represents Turkish culture and traditions best is "halva". It is a part of religious holidays, deaths, births, engagements and marriages. The most classic flavour is made with tahini.

Halva is thought to have come from the Balkans and the eastern Mediterranean. It predates the Turks arrival in Anatolia.

Tahini halva is made with sesame oil which is a notably delicious and healthy ingredient. Tahini mixed with grape molasses is nutritious and tasty.

halva1rg.jpg


From sesame seeds to halva

The sesame seeds are sifted, washed, dried and ground by stones. A root called "cogen" is ground to a powder, mixed with sugar, cooked and added to the vats of tahini. The mixture is blended with wooden spoons and then the halva makers take it away to knead it by hand. The halva must not be over or under kneaded. The dough is worked by masters who know exactly how much to do.

A thousand varieties of halva

Plain halva and tahini halva came first. Then new varieties were introduced, created peanut, pistachio, cocoa, almond, summer, diabetic, mastic, walnut, jam, mulberry and apricot varieties and the list goes on. Tahini halva has lots of vitamin E and no cholesterol. Sesame oil is good for the skin, combats stress and promotes milk production in breastfeeding mothers.

Halva has lots of vitamins for the children and it's a good source of energy. It won't go off easily and has no preservatives. While visitors to Turkey usually buy Turkish Delight, halva is a healthier alternative.

One of the most respected manufacturers of Halva in Turkey is a company called Koska.


Merv!
 
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GarryP

Member
Turkish Halva - the "cure-all"
Merlin, Halva or Helva ? ... I always thought it was named Helva

Anyhow, it is a wonderful thing to have, from breakfast right up to bed-time, or as an any time snack. It is commonly available in Turkish/middle Eastern supermarkets across the UK, and I have even noticed some in Asda's and Sainsbury's if my memory serves me right.

Whenever we buy a large block of Helva, it's only days before its gone!!

My favourite by far is Fıstıklı Helva (Helva with Pistachio's).

When in Turkey in June, I did notice some Helva Salonu (Helva Bar) servering nothing other than dozens of different varieties of Helva.

If you have not tried this wonderful snack, then rush out and but some Helva today.
 

merlin

Member
Turkish Halva - the "cure-all"
Me too Garry but the missus has always called it Halva and thats sorta stuck with me :) I think both are acceptable in Turkey.
 

merlin

Member
Turkish Halva - the "cure-all"
Well blow me down with a feather :lol:

Thanks Garry, thats gonna cost me a lost bet now! I always maintained it was Helva

Merv!
 

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