A dense and delicious, sweet-yet-savoury Turkish treat
Tahini is the new peanut butter. It’s a bold claim, but as professional eaters we’re prepared to stand by it. Like peanut butter, it’s, well, nutty, hopelessly moreish, and rich in nutrients. It marries with almost anything, really: toast, noodles, ice cream, fruit—and of course, chocolate, as we discovered today when we alighted upon rolled chocolate halva at The Turkish Deli.
“It’s made from chocolate, tahini and corn starch,” says Modge at the stall. “It is very popular.” A Turkish snack, halva is usually served as a sweet accompaniment to the bitter hit that is Turkish coffee. “Turkish people don’t often have sugar in their coffee, so they have a piece of halva or Turkish delight to counter balance it,” she continues. Tahini itself, a paste of ground sesame seeds, is used as a spread or sauce: “but halva makes it portable.”
Sweet, gooey morsel
Even with the chocolate in it—a dusting of cocoa outside, a sweet, gooey morsel of chocolate inside—it’s a pretty healthy snack. And besides, this is Friday feeling. Health doesn’t come into it. Rich yet meltingly light on the tongue, granular yet smooth and buttery, it’s deliciously confusing, blurring the boundaries of texture and taste. It is sweet. It is savoury. It is at once both and neither. Tahini is the new peanut butter—and chocolate halva is our new favourite incarnation.