Pronunciation: [hahl-VAH; HAHL-vah]
Hailing from the Middle East, this confection is made from ground sesame seed and honey, sometimes with the addition of chopped dried fruit and pistachio nuts. It's available in most supermarkets in wrapped bars, and in Jewish delicatessens in long slabs from which individual slices can be cut.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.