Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Hebel & Co. - Double Chocolate Organic Sesame Tahini Halva - April 23, 2024

Chocolate of The Day 

Hebel & Co. 
Double Chocolate - Organic Sesame Tahini Halva
Good ++
Weight: 1.1 oz. (32 g.) / 8 oz. (227 g.) in total container/tub
Calories: 170 calories in 1 serving
Cost: $ (Missing information) for 1 container
Purchased from: The Market at Edgewood, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #11 of Chocolate and Umami* Theme Week. Today 

Today's Organic Double Chocolate Organic Sesame Tahini Halva was from Hebel & Co. (North Hollywood, CA).

Sesame tahini-based halva (derived from the Arabic word halwa (sweet confection)) is a traditional Middle Eastern confection made from ground sesame seeds and honey. Dairy free kosher versions are particularly popular this week when Passover is being celebrated.

Aroma notes for today's relatively modern chocolate and vanilla** version included: sweet, nougat like aroma and appearance; faint sweet sesame seed confection; and subtle chocolate and vanilla.

A slab of halva can look rather humble in appearance. However, the texture and flavors can be divine. The thick slice I tasted had a uniform, softly chewy (micro) crunchy, almost nutty, flaked texture that within 3-4 seconds dissolved into smooth, creamy deliciousness.

Flavor notes included: rich, creamy and sweet, high-end sesame nougat-like flavor infused with chocolate (cocoa) and vanilla. Not too stiff or sticky. Just right.

The sweetness level also felt just right for a confection. It wasn't made with honey; but the tapioca syrup and cane sugar sweeteners didn't obscure more subtle sesame and vanilla flavors.

Ingredients: Organic Sesame Seeds, Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Chocolate (Organic Cacao Beans, Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Vanilla Beans), Organic Cocoa Powder, Certified Sustainably Sourced Organic Palm Oil, Organic Quillaja Extract, Organic Vanilla Extract, Citric Acid.

Allergen-related information: (Contains sesame.) "Made in a Facility That Processes Tree Nuts, Peanuts, Wheat, Soy, Milk."

* Umami flavors are associated with savory foods with high levels of glutamic acid/glutamate. These amino acids and protein building blocks exist not only in meats and mushrooms, but also in a variety of other foods, including: sea and land vegetables/plants, peanuts, tree nuts (almonds, walnuts), cashews and several seeds (sesame, hemp, pumpkin, chesnut, chia). (Sesame seeds contain a whopping 4000 mg. of glutamic acid in a 100 gram (3.53 oz. portion.)

**Halva-style confections (aka halvah, halawa) made with varying ingredients have been enjoyed in countries like Iran/Persia, Greece, Turkey and Egypt long before new world flavors like chocolate and vanilla were added. (A sunflower seed version can be found in Russia.) That said, the more recent additions of chocolate and vanilla seemed a perfect, natural and complementary fit with this historic sweet.

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