Halva is a 3,000 year old dessert with roots in Levantine, Mediterranean, and North African communities. This versatile confection is made from sesame seeds and sugar and has a light consistency.
According to USA Today, this millennia-spanning treat is making a comeback. Hip food businesses are finding ways to incorporate it into dishes. Places such as Seed + Mill, which launched a food counter in the Chelsea Market food hall last year, have added it to their menus.
“We like to say halva is the new kale,” Seed + Mill co-owner Rachel Simons tells USA Today when discussing its health benefits and newfound cultural popularity.
Halva tends to be gluten-free and dairy-free, making it an ideal dish for customers who tend to avoid gluten and dairy. Sesame seeds found in halva contain protein, iron, copper, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and much more. In fact, sesame seeds are believed by many to be the oldest condiment known to man.
Halva cakes can include a variety of flavors, like nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate.
“Our goal is to take halva from being a niche product to something that modern Americans who might not have any religious or historic connections to it can embrace,” Simons says.