Jostling for attention from the frenzied staff, tourists from the Gulf queue up to sample and get their hands on the saffron and nut-studded sweet, a gooey local specialty made with sugar and corn starch that Bahrain is famous for, regionally and beyond. The ideal ‘thought-of-you-while-away’ gift for relatives and friends, few Khaleeji visitors will leave Bahrain halwa-free, especially in the months leading up to Ramadan. Bought in quantities, the cartons are tightly packed and often labeled for freight.
A close cousin of the Omani version, Bahrain’s halwa - which comes in saffron red or cardamom green - is best eaten warm, scooped up with some “datey” dibs flatbread and slurped down with a shot of bitter gahwa.
Signup to our newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
Sales of the traditional sweet demonstrate that in sweetish, as well as in sour times, it is the locally distinctive and well-made artisan products that tend to stick.
Most of Muharraq’s halwa shops bear the family name Showaiter, a dynasty that has been synonymous with halwa in Bahrain for over a century. Still the most sought-after make, Bahrainis have come to call their national treasure halwat Showaiter.
ALSO READ The state of Bahrain’s economy