Achva: New Tahini Products on the Shelf
Updated: May 6
This article got me into the kitchen because I was excited about introducing you to two new Tahini products and wanted to show you how to use them. Both are being launched by "Achva", the largest Tahini manufacturer in Israel. "Achva" means 'brotherhood' in Hebrew, which is not only friendly, but reflects what a staple product Tahini is in Israel.
I thought this article would interest you as an idea for a simple gift to bring the taste of Israel to share at home. The products are new even in Israel so I'm not sure you will be able to find them abroad, but even if you can, you have to be aware of them first in order to search for them.
The best thing about Tahini is that it can be incorporated into every course of the meal, both savoury and sweet and because of its high nutritional value, it is a healthy option. Sesame seeds are high in protein, calcium, vitamin B, amino acids and unsaturated fats belonging to the Omega 6 and 9 groups.
Both products are Kosher Parve under the supervision of Badatz Eda HaCharedit Yerushalayim.
The first product(s) is their Organic Tahini both Whole/Regular in a new packaging. They are both natural, with no added salt and are rich in calcium, iron and fiber. The new packaging is made of plastic with a seal that will enable you to take it in your suitcase (Tahini itself has a thick liquid consistency so I wouldn't think to take it in a carry on).
Recommended price: 10 - 13 NIS for a package of 500 grams.
Photographer: PR photo
The second product is a Tahini & Honey Spread. As its name suggests, it is made of whole sesame and honey. It has no trans-fat, no cholesterol, no food coloring and is very low in sodium. The new spread is based on whole Tahini (68%) containing essential fatty acids and high values per 100 grams of calcium (587 mg), iron (5 mg), fiber (10 grams), protein (15 grams) and low sodium (33 mg only). It is suitable for use as a sweet and healthy spread in a balanced diet similar to other spreads for use in sandwiches, cakes and cookies. The new honey combination is joining the current series of Achva spreads that are based on Tahini with chocolate, Tahini with date syrup and Tahini with sugar-free chocolate, which have had a huge success. According to the company, most of the spreads contain at least 68% Tahini made from full sesame and have the highest nutritional value today in the field of sweet spreads. The spreads also come in the new packaging.
Recommended price: 8 - 11 NIS for a package of 400 grams.
Photographer: PR photo taken by Yael Han
So, how did I use these products?
I prepared the Organic Whole Tahini as a sauce to accompany the meal as it is most commonly used. You mix equal parts of Tahini and water seasoned with lemon juice, crushed garlic and chopped parsley till you achieve a smooth creamy sauce. Note: You need to mix both products before pouring/spreading them from the container since the sesame oil tends to separate phases and create a top layer.
I made a few kebabs with grilled vegetables and an Israeli salad. All are eaten with the Tahini sauce. To make it more interesting, I presented them as I would serve a party appetizer. I wrapped the kebabs in the grilled vegetables, held them together with a toothpick and drizzled some Tahini on top. I have my sister in law to thank for this idea. Note: you need to cut the eggplant into lengthwise strips before grilling so that you have a large enough piece to wrap the kebabs in them.
The basis of an Israeli salad is onions, cucumbers and tomatoes seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice and salt. I didn't use olive oil since I knew I would be adding Tahini, which contains sesame oil. I also added mint leaves for a fresh flavor.
I then used the Tahini Honey Spread as a filling for a rolled cake.
The dough in this recipe is based on a cake recipe by Tammy Sirkis Ackerman.
Knead together the following to make a dough:
100g butter (if you want Dairy) or margarine (if you want Parve)
2 cups of flour - I used all purpose gluten-free flour because I have Celiac Disease
A few drops of vanilla extract
Some orange zest from one orange
Spread some more flour on your working surface and flatten the dough with a rolling pin. Don't worry, I didn't forget any ingredient.
For the filling, I spread the Tahini Honey Spread and sprinkled some walnuts on top. You can improvise with what you have at home (other nuts, raisins, chocolate chips etc.).
You then roll up the cake, place it on the baking tray and cover it with egg yolk. I sprinkled some sugar and sesame seeds on top of the egg yolk for a nice photo finish, but it isn't mandatory. Bake for about 15-20 min at 200°C.
A few words about Achva:
The company was founded in 1929 and still maintains its favor in the eyes of the customers. According to the StoreNext report for the year 2017, Achva's Tahini brand was the best-selling brand in Israel for 2017. As a market leader, Achva has maintained in recent years a 32.5% financial market share in the category of raw Tahini and a quantitative market share of 41.6%. According to the company the demand for Tahini is continually on the rise, partially due to the affordable price policy of the company. The new packaging was launched with great success two years ago. The company also sells Halva (a sesame based sweet) and baked goods.
All in all, I had lots of fun and a delicious meal. Now, you can too!
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