A bit of history
Historians claim that the first time the halva appeared in Iran. At first it was made for harem beauties, but then its purpose expanded, and it began to enter the diet of warriors, who on the rights of a high-calorie dish gave strength and vivacity. Kandalatchi — esteemed and revered by the population, craftsmen made halva from nuts. By the way, even the word “halwa” itself means “nutty treat” in Arabic. After the Crusades (11-13 centuries), this Eastern dessert came to Europe and immediately gained love and popularity among gourmets – sweet pews.
Russia’s acquaintance with halva owes the Greek Kazi, who resided in Odessa and knew the recipe for making oriental sweetness. Enterprising confectioner opened a small shop in the city for the manufacture of nut treats and very soon supplied them almost the whole country.
At the Kazi factory, the masters made nut and tahina (sesame) halva. Having understood the profitability of the company, the energetic Greek quickly expanded production, and very soon the company began to produce up to 800 kg of sweet product per day.
At the beginning of the 19th century Kazi had a competitor represented by the Russian merchant Sviridov. It was said that the secret of preparing halva with him was shared by his wife, compatriot Kazi. According to other rumors, the recipe of an oriental dessert, the merchant was told by sailors from ships belonging to him, who regularly sailed to Persia and Turkey for the goods, and of course, tasted walnut halva there. However, Mr. Sviridov made a considerable contribution to the variety of treats. According to one version, he was the first thought of using sunflower seeds in the production of halva.
Nowadays there is a wide variety of types of halva, many recipes and methods of cooking it. But it is believed that the real halva is still made in Iran. By the way, done by hand, and it doesn’t go into any comparison with what tons produce in confectionery factories.
The composition of halva
, of course, the main component of any halva is the main product — seeds or nuts. But as other components producers take caramel (sugar, molasses) mass, as well as foaming agent. When cooking a treat at home, honey is usually used instead of sugar and molasses. The role of the foaming agent is giving the halva a characteristic fibrous structure. Coping with this under the strength of egg whites, licorice roots or althea.
Sometimes for diversity, conscientious producers add natural fillers and flavors to halva: vanilla, cinnamon, chocolate and others, unscrupulous — preservatives and flavor enhancers identical to natural ones.
The main component of sunflower halva is sunflower seeds. It is noteworthy that during its production there is processing of both kernels and shells (husks), which gives this type of halva a special taste, more saturated than the rest. High-quality sunflower halva has a greyish-green tinge. Due to the presence of particles of the shell well cleans the gastrointestinal tract from harmful deposits. It is noticed that this kind of treat is most loved in Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and Russia.
Protein mass for this species of halva is prepared from ground sesame seeds. On the species it is considerably lighter than its sunflower “sister”. The colour is yellowish grey and the taste is slightly bittersweet. In addition to excellent nutritional qualities, the real tahine halva due to the large content in sesame seeds has high biological value, rejuvenates and rejuvenates organism.
At its base – ground nuts. In its production, sugar is usually replaced with honey and, in addition, does not connect the foam unit. Peanut halva can be a beautiful cream color and a pleasant soft taste. However, people suffering from urolithiasis and disorders of the musculoskeletal system, this type of halva is contraindicated, because in the composition of peanuts there are purines that contribute to formation and accumulation urates (salts of uric acid).
Today sweet-eaters can enjoy tahina halva with peanuts or walnut, sunflower with almond crumb, nutty with candied, etc. Combined halva producers produce in the form of candy.
glazed can be any halva. As a coating, manufacturers use chocolate (rarely) or pastry glaze consisting of sugar, cocoa powder, molasses, licorice root extract, etc. Quality glazed halva has a light- or dark brown slightly wavy or flat surface without white plaque. It’s a very calorie product.