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Heluva Halva


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No, I'm not swearing.

I just had my first mouthful (and believe me, you should have a mouthful of this stuff, not a nibble, though a nibble would be better than nothing) of "Pismaniye" - traditional floss halva from Turkey. I almost fainted. :biggrin:

They come in little rounds that look like soft tiny delicate balls of light silky pure ivory string. The texture, is as if cotton candy were a number squared by itself, but with nothing numerical about it. The thing explodes in your mouth in an ecstatic sort of way. Yes, it really does. :smile:

I would love to see this stuff being made.

Wiki has more information on halvah, including floss halva, than I expected. Interesting, very.

Pi?maniye (Turkish) or floss halva is a traditional sweetmeat, prepared in Kocaeli, Turkey, made by flossing thin strands of halva into a light confection. Made primarily of wheat flour and sugar, the strands are continuously wrapped into a ball shape and then compressed.
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They come in little rounds that look like soft tiny delicate balls of light silky pure ivory string. The texture, is as if cotton candy were a number squared by itself, but with nothing numerical about it. The thing explodes in your mouth in an ecstatic sort of way. Yes, it really does.  :smile: 

Flashback! :shock:Flashback!

I haven't thought of these in years!

Wikipedia notes this confection is also found in Bosnia and Hergonovina, whiich is, due to the ever-changing borders in that region, currently the home of Serbs, so I must have had these many years ago at my Grandma Baich's?

I'll check with my cousins who've visited the Old Country in recent years and see what they may know about this.

SB (revelling in memory :wub: )

PS: YES! They really did "explode"! :biggrin:

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I love pismaniye, and always have a couple of boxes keeping cool in the garage for parties and surprises.  It's not like anything else, and is guaranteed to amaze your friends.

Where do you get it?

SB (anxious)

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I got mine at a local international foods store, but this is the first time I've seen it there. There's some places you can get it online - google "pismaiye halva".

Phew. That stuff is dangerous, though. Last night after I ate the first one, I was walking around the house in a daze (from the sugar rush, probably, I don't think I've ever eaten anything so intensely sweet but uncloying in my life) inadvertantly making noises like "whoa" and "woooooof" in an undertone till my daughter asked me what I was doing.

I then tried a second one and that was my downfall. It was *before* dinner. Mistake. That sugar rush thing smacked me right upside the head and literally it felt similar to eating a Hardee's Six-Dollar Burger in like . . . three minutes . . .which I do just for the practice of it about twice a year. Had to flop right down on the couch and sit there like an inept lump till I fell over sideways muttering, "I'll make dinner in a minute, kids . . ." Whoa.

I hid the box in my closet.

It is mine, all mine.

I just have to find the right moment to try another one. One, I said. One.

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It's very similar to the Thai snack called roti sai mai. In the Thai version, the sugar threads are rolled in thin pancakes (thinner than roti, and not quite as bready) and eaten like that. I've heard that it has the same origins--the Persian version, but I don't know where the roti part comes from.

Interestingly, there was another topic on eGullet on this very thing started a yearish ago. Who knew it was so popular!

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Funnily enough, I saw this stuff in a Persian shop about a week ago, having forgotten all about since some time in my childhood when my dad brought some back from the middle east - in fact, I have a feeling he brought it back a few times, and I remember absolutely loving them.

I didn't buy any, because by the time I noticed it, we were already loaded up with pastries (and boy were they good - sweet, buttery, flaky, melt-in-the-mouth goodness), but I made a mental note to get them next time. Definitely :wink:

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.

Virginia Woolf

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