The year was 1905. The place was a small town in Russia called Kiev. The man was Nathan Radutzky, a simple 22 year old entrepreneur with a recipe and an idea.
What he held, was a recipe for one of the oldest known confections in the world. It was eaten by Kings and Titans, and Princes and Sultans. In some parts of the world it was considered a sacred symbol of immortality and life. In other cultures it was thought to promote fertility and sexual response.
It also tasted really, really good. That recipe was Halvah.
The idea was to produce it in the United States. Halvah has been called the Food of The Gods. An ancient Turkish confection, dating back 3000 years was about to be refined, reinterpreted, and reinstated as the food of choice among the eastern European immigrants in the early part of the 20th century. Halvah, which means “sweet meat” in Turkish was going to get a modern twist.
In 1907 the first batch of Halvah was produced on the Lower East Side of Manhattan where you can still buy it today. The Joyva Corporation, in its 99th year of operation, is still a family run business. It is headquartered in Brooklyn, NY. Over the last nine decades we have developed many candy and specialty food items that have been loved for generations. Jell Rings, Marshmallow Twists, Sesame Crunch, Sesame Tahini, and of course our beloved Halvah.