Friday, February 29, 2008


I'm currently studying abroad in Jerusalem and I've made it part of my morning ritual that I snag 2-3 pieces of halivah before I start my day. Some pronounce this little treat Halvah but I prefer Halivah. So yeah.

Halivah is a pressed sesame seed treat. It's a little bit gritty and crumbly, but that makes it break into natural tiny portions. Unlike most Western candies that I'm used to, this wasn't terribly sweet. Halivah has just the tiniest bit of sweet- just enough to keep it from being too bland or bitter. It is a little bland, but this downside is overcome with "developing a taste" for the sesame flavor.

My biggest qualm (and perhaps it is a trivial one) with halivah is that it is a little dry and that its brittle nature causes it to get stuck in your teeth in a most uncomfortable way. Otherwise it's a delicious treat that you can eat for breakfast without feeling guilty.

This treat is not exclusive to Israel, but I'm sure that you can get it in any grocery store that carries a decent foreign aisle of foods. I wouldn't be surprised if Wegmans carried a few varieties of halivah.

6.2 out of 10

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Chicko Sticks

Butter Fingers are great. A candied log covered in chocolate cannot go wrong.

Unless It's summertime.

Then it usually goes wrong within a matter of minutes of heat exposure.

This summer I was sitting in my apartment wishing for melt-proof Butter Fingers. Deep down I knew it was the chocolate that was the Butter Finger's downfall, but I couldn't concede to the obvious so easily. I thought, and I thought. Instead of leaving me with this dilemma indefinitely, divine intervention came to my aid in the form of Dan Stevens (Also the giver of the Chocolate Orange.).

Dan gave me a Chicko Stick. A Chicko Stick is essentially a Butter Finger without chocolate. It can be exposed to extreme temperatures and humidity levels without taste alteration.

It is, in short:



as of right now, i am half-way through a semester in nairobi, kenya. you might expect a fresh-faced liberal college student in my position to be writing about politics or philiosophy or human rights issues, but i'd like to dedicate some of my time to a less-explored issue: candy.
after a few weeks here, as i became comfortable with public transportation and the local wal-mart, i decided to treat myself to something i had been craving for a long time: chocolate. my choice was a "coco dance x2" bar. i wasn't quite sure what to expect, but i like coco (being a key ingredient of chocolate) and there were little pictures of coconuts on the package, which are also enjoyable. the only words in english were "milk compound chocolate coated coconut bar". sawa. the rest of the wrapper is in arabic and turkish. maybe if my body doesn't know how much fat and sugar is in it, said fat and sugar will give my mid-section a pass...
so how did this confection taste? it was good! essentially, it was an american 'mounds' bar-- coconut filling in a milk chocolate outside. it was even divided into two smaller bars, making it a very satisfying taste of home away from home.
i kind of want to do some research on how chocolate is made in different climates. i've heard european chocolate is best because in the states we need to add wax so that it doesn't melt prematurely. i'll keep you posted ;-)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Chocolate Oranges

A few days ago I received a chocolate orange as a gift. It was my second chocolate orange in this lifetime. After smashing it repeatedly on the arm of my futon I proceeded to unwrap the aluminum packaging. It was very satisfying to see the individual chocolate slices that remained as a result of my violence. Somewhat less satisfying was the taste of the orange. It was better than plain milk chocolate, but not good enough to warrant full consumption in one sitting. My friend Phil and I agreed that our verdict on the orange could not yet be reached.

Then, last night, I tried something new. I had a hankering for hot chocolate, which I made promptly. As I fearfully sipped on the scalding beverage I had the idea to place an orange slice in the hot chocolate. It mixed in easily and dissolved. It was still too hot to drink comfortably so I slipped another orange slice in the beverage. After stirring well and allowing a few more minutes to cool I gave it a try.