In Jerusalem I visited Mahane Yehuda Market, also known as “the shuk”, where I had the opportunity to try some Halva at a stall called Halva Kingdom. If you haven’t heard of Halva before, it’s a dense, sweet confection that comes in big slabs. Israeli halva is made using tahini (sesame) and honey, and comes in a variety of flavours.
Halva Kingdom manufactures over 100 different flavours and types of Halva at its factory in Mishor Edomim, including cherry, pistachio, coffee and chocolate chip. Shop keeper Eli Mamman knows all the Halva-making secrets, which have been passed down through his family from father to son. The sesame is imported from Ethiopia, ground with a millstone and then blended with sugar to give it that super sweet taste. The first Halva Kingdom was opened in Jerusalem’s Old City in 1947, but when the Jews were deported from the Old City, they reopened in Mahane Yehuda market.
In this video I taste Halva for the first time, and as you can see by my reaction, I’m a little confused! It has kind of a gritty texture to it and is very sweet. I’m not sure I could eat it in large quantities, but it was tasty to nibble on! I ended up buying a slab of the coffee flavour. Definitely stop by this stall if you want to try some!