H is for Halawa

Halawa tahiniya, or حلاوة  طحينية, is one of my favorite sweet snacks in Egypt. Halawa means “sweetness” in Arabic and is made from tahina, a sesame seed paste, and sugar. It is typically made and sold in blocks that you can purchase from the deli section of local shops. You can also buy it in packages like the one pictured above. Traditionally, halawa is plain but today there are many varieties available – chocolate, almonds, hazelnuts, and pistachios. Halawa is usually eaten in a sandwich (hot or cold) on baladi bread, the pita-like local bread. Although it is not unusual to see people simply dig in with a spoon!