Wedel Chałwa Królewska

Posted by in Chocolate Reviews on January 15 2009 | Leave A Comment

A week or so before Christmas I went off to our local Vietnamese butcher. The Vietnamese butcher is an off-shoot of the local Vietnamese baker (logical, innit?), and along with really good choice and good customer service they have good prices. Hence the visit. The occasion was a pre-Christmas BBQ with friends and I wanted some sausages.

Now before you wonder if this is a review of sausages, bear with me as I string you along – the meaty part is coming. After buying them and few other odds and ends, as I was paying, I saw what was on the counter:

Wedel Chałwa Królewska

Seeing as I don’t read or speak any Polish, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into, but even I could figure out the meaning of “KAKAO” on the label. And the label does tickle my fancy a little anyhow: “o smaku waniliowym z kakao”, which just translates as “vanilla-flavoured cocoa”.

So what on earth had I bought? It turns out to be Vanilla flavoured Halva with coca powder. More checking, both using Mr Google and the back of the pack reveals this is a sesame-based Halva – popular in much of the Middle East and obviously in a few other places as well – such as Poland.

Because the labelling is all Polish, apart from a small amount of English, I’d guess this is made for the domestic Polish market. The sticker indicates that it’s a special import so availability might be a difficult one.

I’m pretty sure I’ve tried Halva before, but I don’t know where or when. So this was a bit of a novelty, and opening the pack revealed even more of a novelty than I’d been expecting:

Wedel Chałwa Królewska

It’s close to white. Where is the chocolate? The Kakao?
Well, it is there. By looking very carefully you can see it in a few very thin layers, as though it’s been sandwiched in there. Then the pack tells more of the story: the cocoa content is a mere 0.6%: so little you can barely tell its there. Being the ingredients freak I am, the other interesting things are that sesame content is 48%, then comes sugar. And wow, can you ever tell about the sugar when you try it. The first impression is sweetness. I really struggled to detect anything chocolaty at all.

The texture is both powdery and sticky at the same time – which is very unusual, and until now something I considered impossible. Not unpleasant, just unusual. The rest of the family were fairly noncommittal about this one, but in spite of the huge sweetness and barely detectable chocolatiness, I quite liked it.

Not something for every day, but an interesting and curious change.

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Comments On This Post

  1. Aaah, halva! It’s not exactly chocolate, but I utterly love it. The pistachio variety is my absolute favourite.

  2. Simon

    My Polish grandmother used to give me halva. When I was a kid I loved it. Doubt I could manage much of it these days though.

  3. Adriano

    Wow,I love halva very much…It’s awfully sweet but sometimes I cannot resist to buy it,especially the one with sultanas…It would be interesting to try this cocoa-one but I believe that the amount of cocoa should be a lot larger for the sesame not to overpower it.

  4. Rachel

    How can they put it in a purple wrapper if it’s not chocolate?! This is blasphemy!

  5. Christine

    I adore halva! I’d love to be able to get it in a handy bar like this. I’ve only ever seen it in delis in tubs…

  6. Spriggana

    Christine: just take your pick… ;)
    http://wedel.pl/55.htm

  7. Yola

    “O smaku waniliowym z kakao” means “vanilla-flavoured [halva] WITH cocoa”. Those small one-letter words can be pretty important for the meaning ;-)

  8. river

    I tried halva years ago, bought it from the Central Market here in Adelaide. I liked it, but after it was all gone I never had the urge to buy more.

  9. Dorota

    Yes, it is our Polish thing, but not for everyone. For ex. I dislike chalwa in contrast to my mother.

  10. Hey, I’m addicted to this halva. I eat it everyday, I buy it in 8.8 oz boxes and it at least one a day. I should to be fat but I’m not. I’m still 5’6″ and 159 lb, my belly looks just a little better then before my addiction start (4 months ago). This product comes from Poland and sometimes isn’t available, then I make a ride around all stores in polish neighborhood in Chicago to find at least one bar, sometimes I can’t, if I can’t I get halvasick. I can’t think about anything else than halva, for serious it’s not so bad with me, it’s not a cocaine but I prefer to have it daily at home, I love only this one flavor, there is few others, some is good other not but the pest one is vanilla with peanuts, raisins and cocoa powder. GO HALVA !!!!

  11. Russ

    If you want to try proper Halva then you need to get it from the Kosher section of a supermarket, or for an even better experience, a proper Jewish shop that stocks it.

    Halva is great, but you’re only supposed to have a small amount of it at a time because it is sweet and sticky. It shouldn’t be powdery though.

  12. Try the Lithuanian sunflower halva made by Pergale sold under the ‘Sonata’ brand – it’s delicious! Less bitter than the sesame variety and a bit too easy to scoff the lot in a few seconds… here it is > http://www.pergale.lt/en/sunflower-halva-sonata-2/