Pehlivan Halva » Pehlivan Halva in The Press

Yeni řafak Gazetesi (Yeni řafak Newspaper) - 12 February 2003

The Head of the Pehlivan Halva Executive Board, Hüseyin Pehlivan, stated that the consumption of the foods such as halva, tahini and molasses would lower the heating costs in cold winter days as well as contributing to the development of the children.

Mr. Hüseyin Pehlivan, what are the effects of the products such as halva, tahini and molasses on the human body and what are their benefits for the human health?

Tahini and molasses is of great benefit to the human health not only for adults but also for the children that are the future of the human being. It is very beneficial for anemia and for the females especially during the pregnancy and the first breast-feeding periods. Moreover, it is an inseparable part of our breakfasts for many centuries. Tahini and molasses is entirely winter breakfast food. Molasses and halva are also essential for keeping our body warm.

Halva, tahini and molasses are thought as a deluxe product. What do you say about that?

That is wrong. A deluxe product is pastrami. The temperature of the human body is 32 °C. If it falls under that degree, a man starts to feel cold depending on his dressing and nutrition conditions. Heating is a serious problem in Turkey, a problem that the people sacrifice. Besides not being deluxe products; halva, tahini and molasses are the foods containing the fundamental vitamins, minerals and nutrients that meet the daily needs of the body even when they are consumed alone.   

Do you have any information about the production and employment rate in halva industry?

There are around 600 small or big institutions doing this business in Turkey. But the total daily production doesn’t exceed 200 tones. Annual halva consumption per capita is 0.1-0.2 gram. Nobody, especially the new generation thinks of buying and having some halva. If you ask “what is the last time you had halva?”, most wouldn’t remember. Halva in bread was the viaticum, meal of the poor. They would buy a French bread, put 250 gr. of halva and eat. It would provide the energy needed all day. Today, the awareness of our women has so risen that they totally avoid the sweet food as they have high calories and make weight.   

How can the consumers tell out a good halva? How is a good halva?

Some use fructose or glucose in exchange for sugar, soy oil or vegetable oils made of nuts in exchange for tahini made of sesame. When you eat halva, it doesn’t burn your nasal passage or throat. You can smell the odor of halva. When you take a piece with fork, it doesn’t disperse or fall into pieces, it sticks to the fork.     

What is your place in the industry?

Pehlivan Halva is a foundation getting a share of the cake by being in the first three, according to the table showing the first fifth top organizations of our industry. It also maintains its success with its cooperators outside the Turkey. We are a firm focusing on the foreign market.

 Unlicensed production is unhealthy

There are very cheap products on the market, are they healthy, what is under them?

There are some that make productions under unhygienic conditions out of state control and sell on the market. But the foodstuffs enter our homes and kitchens, and they are presented to the most beloved ones. Illegal production that we call “Unlicensed” is an issue regarding not only our industry but the whole food industry. They sell a sausage full of soy oil, spices or whatever. Besides not having any adverse effects on human health, Pehlivan Halva productions have positive effects.

The most demand is from Germany

What countries do you export to?

 We export to Germany most. There are also Australia, America, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Kirghizstan. France is in our new portfolio. Our products are consumed by the Turkish people living there, Arab and Balkan descendants. Because Europeans don’t have halva in their culture. They have jams and marmalade. The consumption of halva is very high in Israel and Palestine, but unfortunately the affairs in the Middle East and the tension in Iraq worry us.