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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Rant #1,856: Sweeter Than Sugar


After a long day at work, I came home last night, opened the refrigerator, and I saw two small things in there that made me smile.

There were two bars of halvah, and anytime I see halvah, it makes me smile.

If you don't know what halvah is, let me tell you to the best of my ability, because it is simply hard to describe.

It is a dense candy, very sweet, made from sesame seeds, I do believe. I know that there are other types of halvah around, including one type that is more like a gelatin than a candy, but the type I am talking about is the candy.

It is often marbley, sometimes covered with chocolate, but one you put it in your mouth and chew it, well, you are in heaven on earth.

Certainly, the Jewish community is one reason why halvah has survived the ages. No matter what your affiliation, no matter what your views on whatever topic, I have not seen a Jew of my generation--and earlier generations--that does not love halvah.

Younger generations ... well, many people who are younger simply do not have that affiliation with their own Jewishness, and the foods that define that belief, and I don't know if they are into halvah as older generations are.

But whatever the case, halvah is the ultimate candy, and no, it has no redeeming qualities as a confection.

You do not diet and eat halvah. One bite seemingly adds on weight as quickly as eating a candy bar.

There is no such thing as diet halvah. It would not work.

You never finish a block of halvah. That is not the way to eat it.

Being the fine wine of candy, you take a bite, savor it in your mouth, and while you might take another bite, that is pretty much that.

You never eat an entire piece of halvah. It just isn't done.

I don't know if the manufacturer of the halvah that I like most--Joyva--has ever produced bite-size pieces of the candy, but it just would not be the same if the pieces were smaller.

Halvah is to be savored, and eating an entire piece is like drinking a glass of wine with one gulp.

You might get all of it, but you lose its essence.

I am not one to tout candy. I am not a candy eater, never have been--not even as a child--and never will be one.

But halvah, while a candy, is so much more than that.

It is an experience unlike the experience you get from eating any other candy.

I guess each bite brings you back to another time, links you up with your ancestors--who probably savored this confection more than you do because they had less choices--and it is just so delicious.

Again, I don't know if the younger generations appreciate this candy, but my generation certainly does.

And you can be a non-Jew and love this confection, too.

So the next time you are in a supermarket, check out the selection of halvah that is offered.

Sometimes it is offered in the racks near the checkout area, sometimes, it even is offered in the deli area.

But try it. For first timers, I guarantee that it will at least be an experience that you have not enjoyed before ...

Because there is simply nothing else like halvah, and I do mean nothing.

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