How am I supposed to eat Halva? I bought some of the sesame and pistachio with vanilla and have been eating it out of the tub but I'm sure that's wrong. I don't know what it should be eaten with, or on. It's not easy to eat either because it's quite dry and crumbly - I thought it would be more like peanut butter but it's not, it's like dehydrated cake frosting or crumbly fudge. With pistachios through it. It tastes great! But I just wish I knew how best to eat it. (Here's a recipe)
I've tried it on toast and it's ok but being crumbly it's quite a messy operation.I kind of hoped it would begin to melt and spread a bit seeing as it's fatty, seed based and it did a little bit but not enough. I've tried it with fruit which was also nice. I think It would go great crumbled on top of ice cream, but I am making guesses here. As far as a sweet goes it's rather nutritional
I'm good about trying new flavours. I like new cuisines, new tastes. Coming to the UK opened up a whole new aspect of food I didn't have previously. I'm not saying Cape cod is lacking in international fair, there's hundreds of Mexican and Italian and Chinese restaurants, all very similar with the same menus (here comes the hate mail). Coming to Scotland I was introduced to Indian, Thai, Japanese (in all honesty I didn't actually try Japanese food until I was in San Francisco in '96, for my brother's wedding, but I came back and found Japanese restaurants and went to them here.) I've learned to not be afraid of food, or at least not to be afraid to try new foods.
I've been stung by bad foods, don't get me wrong. I'm not a fan of pesto or ratatouille, or anything heavy with paprika; I'm just not a fan of those flavours - but I at least tried them, several times, before passing a judgment.
On Friday I was at work, and was perusing the naughty food aisle for a snack for breaktime. They had a new product: baklava. A dozen small servings all made in different pretty designs. I had to have it. I went up to join my co-workers who then began to peer suspiciously at my baklava. "What's that?" "Baklava." "What's baklava?" "Greek pastry, want some?" "NO!" and even after they all read the ingredients , been assured it was a sweet pastry, a dessert, a treat, they still were all "You always eat weird stuff." "What's weird about baklava?" "It's just...foreign" "Well, I'm foreign. I'm also not afraid of a pastry, you weirdo." and so the conversation went. A room full of foodie xenophobes and me, the foreigner, eating Greek food. It was shocking. One of them finally plucked up the courage to try it and declared "It's ok." "Really? It's not horrible?" There you are <- that sums up a lot of my experiences in Scotland; they trust no one and nothing and live in a rather small world and they're happy with that. I'm not saying all of them, certainly not, but a majority.
When I meet someone new I'm usually asked "Have you had haggis?" as if it's a big challenge to eat haggis (I love the quote from Mike Meyers' character in So I Married an Axe Murderer regarding haggis "No, I think it's repellent in every way. In fact, I think most Scottish cuisine is based on a dare.") Well of course I've had haggis. I'm not a coward. I may squirm at the thought of sheep's eye soup (I won't eat anything that's looking at me) or some Eastern cuisine that include dog or monkey but I don't disdain or fear those who do eat those foods. In that country, I would try it. Maybe not eagerly, but with manners and respect because to these people monkey brain is like a haggis.
I was having a packed lunch once with a friend who was from Japan and I had a small tub of apple sauce. He looked at it with that pinched up nose curiosity people get when they think they're about to get a nose full of sour milk or dung. "What is that?" he asked and I told him, apple sauce (which to a foreigner, having learned the word sauce may have thought it was something akin to a condiment) and I offered him some. He looked at it, smelled it, examined it..."Just try some already!" "Don't rush me! Would you try sushi so fast!" and I laughed. He tried it and then proclaimed "It's baby food!" and gave it back to me disappointment and disgust. At least he was curious and interested about it.
How can the Brits live so close to Europe, have such ties with the East and be afraid of new flavours?? They have the potential and desire on some level to be a melting pot but with such attitudes it's a dim hope.
So, anyways....how should I eat this halva?