273 days ago

What is halva?

Gastronomy Marusya

It’s a traditional sweet, which is popular in huge territory. Various sources claim that it originated in the Middle East and later spread out to the Balkan peninsula, North Africa and even India. Nowadays halva is much appreciated dessert in almost half of the Europe (if you add on Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine and big part of Russia to the Balkan states). Nevertheless, the Middle East still offers the biggest variety of halva. But this sweet is more and more on demand in other countries, notably UK and US, because of the great beneficial properties.

In ancient times halva was made from dates and milk or from sesame seeds and honey. As the time passed, more variations of it were invented, more ingredients were tried, more complex ways of production were used. These days in different countries you may find a lot of quite similar and totally diverse kinds of halva (which may be called helva, halawa, chalva, halwa, halvah, chałwa, alva, haleweh, halava, helava, halua, aluva etc). But in fact there are two main types of halva: flour based and nut based. The most common to Europeans is the latter one, made from crushed sesame or sunflower seeds, sugar syrup and flavors. Very often the extra ingredients like nuts, cocoa, dried fruits or even chocolate are added to it. I noticed that halva is a little bit varied in every country. So there‘s much to explore, if you like this sweet.

You may also call it the oldest food supplement in the world, as halva contains a lot of essential minerals, fatty acids, dietary fiber, proteins, aminoacids and other useful elements. But stay sane and indulge this dessert in a moderate way because of the high sugar content. Up to 30 g of halva should be enough to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Would you like to try it. Halva is are waiting for you in our store.

More messages from your neighbours
5 days ago

Our sweet pea seeds send out, April issue and Get Growing

Mei Leng Wong Reporter from NZ Gardener & Get Growing

Dear neighbours and NZ Gardener family,

Our April issue should be with our subscribers now and available in supermarkets and service stations (having been distributed prior to the lockdown restrictions). Whether or not it's on the stands yet is a bit patchy ... but then the incredibly brave and hard-working supermarket staff have quite a bit on their plate right now so I understand if there is a delay! Please, please, please everyone ... don't go out to buy it! Normally of course we love you buying NZ Gardener but right now it's far more important that you stay home and stay safe. (You can buy a copy with your online shopping though! That's safe and I think we are all in the market for something uplifting to read right now).

In this issue we offered to send out sweet pea seeds to any reader who sent us a SSAE. Just to reassure you, we will still send out sweet pea seeds to any reader who is keen to participate. We are just not quite sure when! Ignore the dates in the magazine of when you needed to send the envelope in by - that has been indefinitely extended. But we cannot wait to send you the seed and for those flowers to bloom as by then we will be well through this or even have it behind us. And keep letting us know what you are sowing and growing, send in pictures of your harvest, your flowers or what you are sharing.

We always love hearing from NZ Gardener readers but now when we are all staying apart that connection means more than you can imagine. Stay home, stay safe and stay in touch everyone. For the most updated gardening advice, subscribe to our digital e-zine Get Growing, which will be delivered to your inbox completely free.

15 hours ago

'Essential services' - liquour or fruits and vegetables?

Dr Naseem from Pinehill

I refer to the NZ Herald article below:


Could someone please explain to me how or in what way liquor is considered ‘essential services’ or even ‘dairies’ compared to shops that sell fruits and vegetables like say Fruit World?

If shops like Fruit World were open in our neighbourhoods, we would not need to go to our local Park and Save or other supermarkets as frequently. Fruits and vegetables are perishable goods and cannot be stored for long, unlike liquor or canned food or toilet rolls. So we need to get them relatively more frequently.

Further, fruits and vegetables help build up our immunity. Sugar does not. And as a side note, liquor does not help reduce domestic violence incidences either. It sometimes fuels them! And in some cases, it serves as an 'excuse' for some to excuse themselves from incorrigible behaviour, like this fellow who must have had sustained intoxication to actually post this video of himself doing what he did:


How do we convince the government that shops selling fruits and vegetables should be allowed to open? It better not be that we need (yet another) petition to get this done! Who do we write to?

Associate Professor, Massey University

2 hours ago

Were you planning on selling this year?

Gabrielle Elborough from Sell with Gabrielle


If you were thinking of selling your property in 2020, you can still progress your plans during the lock-down


#mairangibay #campbellsbay #castorbay #murraysbay #rothesaybay #milfordbeach #forresthill #sunnynook #totaravale #northcross #brownsbay #windsorpark #sherwood #sellwithgabrielle #buywithgabrielle #eastcoastbays #aucklandnz #northshore #oteha #pinehill #lockdown #staysafe