Andreas has been in the kitchen again – baking up a batch of gourmet pistachio Mantecol (halva for those outside Argentina). Like alfajores, halva hails from Arabia, but it journeyed to Greece before arriving in Buenos Aires, so it retains its nut butter base (originally tahini) and crumbly goodness. Halva is a particularly international dish popular in the Middle East, the Mediterranean, Central Asia and the Americas. In each locale, its name and ingredients slightly differ.
Mantecol is the brand-name for halva in Argentina – it is worshipped daily by children and eaten by the pound during the holidays. Since Cadbury bought Mantecol in 2001 and changed the recipe, your better bet for store-bought halva in Argentina is Nucrem, who still uses the original Greek recipe of the Georgalos family. You can come get Andreas’ fancy Mantecol at the cafe while it’s here!