Hebel & Co is family-owned and -operated. As such, each halva we make begins with a sophisticated scientific process known as kvetching and kvelling. At the end of that process a beautiful halva is born, one that will make your family very proud. Or is it our family? Your family? It's not important. What's important is that you sit back, enjoy yourself, and read a little bit about how this operation got its wings.
The characters in this
familial story of halvamakers
A little bit of history...
(approximately 3000 years)
Sometime in the twentieth century, two immigrants from the eastern shores of the Mediterranean set sail for the shores of Queens, New York, bringing with them their love of halva. And this would be a very short history if they had brought along a recipe. They did not. So instead this story takes many turns, twisting and winding, until decades later, when one of their offspring, Scott, introduces Katie to halva. Katie exclaims, "We should make it!" And what this really meant was: Scott, you should try and make it.
Sooo... how'd it go?
People, we're talking 3000 years of history here. A little trial and error was to be expected. Scott buried his head in chemistry books, science journals, obscure confectionery resources, history books, old texts (not old text messages, papyrus paper old!), revisiting what seemed like the origin of time itself. He built complex contraptions, burned himself, tried different techniques and ingredients, then built even more dangerous contraptions, which led to more severe burning. Smoke alarms went off. Sketches, drawings, more contraptions. They tasted, and tasted, and tasted. Eventually Katie got roped into the production process, and the next thing you know, she was out there landing accounts for our fledgling halva business.
In Katie's Words
At first it was a labor of love. Scott became obsessed with making halva because he was like, 'I want one with different ingredients, or this flavor, and why can't it be like this or that.' He descended deep into confectionery madness. Truly. The kitchen was a disaster... there was tahini everywhere, dripping down walls, on the ceiling. I would come home and find him with beakers, weird gear-looking things that rotated in indescribable ways; he had built these machines that defied physics, and it was truly a sight to behold. It was like I was living with Dr. Bunsen Honeydew. To be frank, at first I thought he was completely nuts.
Then one day he said, 'Try this.' It was sort of that metaphorical turning point. I remember looking at him and saying, '(Bleep), that is good!' And as is common in food start-ups, somebody makes something delicious, gives it to friends and family, and the next thing you know everybody is asking you to make it. Then all of the sudden you have a halva business. We got to work!
In Eric's Words
I taught Scott everything he knows. Except for halva. But everything else, pssshhh. He grew a tomato once and now he's an expert. I'm not even sure it was a tomato. Listen, what I'm saying is, I told him to figure out halva and to call me when he figured it out. He wouldn't have done it if I didn't tell him to do it. Know what I mean? Scott got it easy from our parents, is what I'm saying. If it wasn't for them, he wouldn't know halva from a hole in the wall. Just saying. I'm a numbers person. I eat subsidiary ledgers for breakfast. To the operation I bringeth the important matters of business and trade.
Oceans of tahini and finding that oh-so-right combination of nuttiness, sweetness, and texture. Adhering to the principles of tradition, celebrating the incredibly storied history of halva, Hebel & Co halva sings of its origins, but is driven by our modern desire for high quality ingredients.
Hebel & Co’s halva is handmade in Los Angeles, with the finest available ingredients.
Our favorite ways to eat halva include, but are not limited to, putting it on everything.
But if we had to choose,
follow these simple steps...
- Warm up bread, soft or toasted, loads of gluten or no gluten: baguette, bagel, laffa, nan-e barbari, crepe, tortilla, pancake, pita, waffle, and spread a generous amount of halva.
- Shake your shoulders. You're dancing.
- Locate your mouth, place halva in mouth, close mouth, and enjoy your flaky, delicious, scrumptious, mouth-mesmerizing halva.
Don’t let that stop you from putting it on/in ice cream, cookies, cakes, donuts, muffins, croissants, strudels, and the world is your halva-oyster (just saying—it can be done). You are only limited by your imagination.