In Open Sesame: The History of Halvah, Nevil Martell delves into the long history of Halvah, which perhaps dates “all the way back to 3000 B.C.E.” Thought to originate in the area which would become the home of the expansive Byzantium Empire, halvah would naturally spread through India, China, Asia, and Europe. The recipe would naturally evolve through time and travel.
Halvah was first introduced to the United States in 1907, when Ukrainian emigrant Nathan Radutzky produced his first batch in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Curiously, Nathan’s recipe, using tahini as a principal ingredient, favored the style of halvah found in Turkey, rather than the sunflower seed formulation of his Ukrainian heritage. The lower East Side of Manhattan delis sold the bulk versions of the Joyva product as well as halvah imported from Turkey and Lebanon. Many youngsters were introduced to the candy by grandparents living in the New York and New Jersey area as a weekly ritual treat.
Today, Halvah Heaven produces small-batch tahini based halvah in a variety of special flavors. All flavors are nut-free except for our popular Peanut Butter halvah. All flavors are vegan with the exception of Honey Rose. Our flavors offer options for everyone from the traditional Vanilla Bean to the unusual Cardamom Orange and Maple flavors. For many it has become their daily ritual treat and we hope it will become one of yours!