The 11th Floor

A Perpsective Overlooking Jerusalem, Israeli Life, and Talmud Torah

Friday, March 23, 2007

Halva break.

With "Passover Madness" about to grip the city of Jerusalem, this shabbat is a calm before the storm. The whole city is a bit more quiet than usual, and from outside the school windows you can hear schoolkids (at the "dati" or religious schools) singing "Mah Nishtanah" and other seder classics.

While many products in the stores (photos to be posted soon) are already K-4-P, the real onslaught begins after shabbat. Matzot are in the stores, but not so much Matzo Meal. Soup mix but not cakes. Seasonings, but not dressings. That changes come sunday. Of course, for passover here the Salatim do NOT get made with cottonseed oil, which not only has to have a toxin removed from it to be eaten, but also has the most unhealthy balance of omega-6 to omega-3 you can find in an oil. Better you should eat butter. Of course since Israel is a Sephardi/Eydot Hamizrach kind of country, the Chummus is already marked Kosher for passover, as are cans of beans and other kitniyot-based dishes.

So enjoy a slice of Halva before all hell breaks loose. Marble Coffee? Mixed Fruit? There are so many kinds to choose from, but the regular favorite of many halva junkies is the layers of chocolate and vanilla halva separated and enrobed in thick chocolate icing. I think that one's a bit rich even for my sweet-tooth, but I haven't tried them all yet. It would take years.

The halva stand is run by a intimidating guy who has a LOUD voice (as so many hawkers in the market do); his head is clean shaven, he's all muscle and he does not smile when on the job. He has a giant 14" chef's knife in hand at most times, which is only one hilt away from a short sword. Put this all together and you would think that you would never want to buy from this guy. But he will let you try any flavor, he always has a plate of samples ready, and if you are a repeat customer, he will often shave you off a slice to wolf down as he carves out an order for someone else. What's not to love?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dad would have loved that place.

4:53 AM  

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