It's amazing. There's all the Amish vendors selling baked goods, the best pork sandwich you will ever eat, some rather interesting food oddities, and food from across the world, all in a tight, crammed little space. As a bonus, it's only a short and safe walk away from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, which are naturally pretty darn historic and a bit awe-inspiring as well.
It's also pretty much the only place I knew where to buy halvah.
What's halvah? I had no idea either until Sandy picked some up there on our last trip around Christmas time. It's delicious, is what it is.
And now, of course, perhaps Columbusing halvah to the masses, is good ol' TJ's with Trader Joe's Organic Marbled Halvah. Find it stashed right next to the cash registers for an interesting litle pick up.
Halvah in general, and TJ's in particular, has an interesting texture. It's firm yet soft, dry yet not arid, chalky yet not crumbly. You can tear yourself a chunk at ease, yet it falls apart nearly instantly when bitten. It's kinda like magic, and that's how a good halvah tastes.
The TJ's type, in comparison, does seem a bit more firm than the couple bites we have left of the "real deal" from Philly. There's more similarity than not, so I'd say it veers towards authentic in terms of texture, but it's not all the way there. Sandy says it more closely tastes like a halvah candy bar which she's had somewhere - seriously, where that girl gets her treats sometimes, I just don't know.
It's also kinda odd to me the way the TJ's halvah is packaged. There's ten little individually fun size wrapped pieces inside the bag. Seems kinda wasteful, unless you want to be the neighborhood oddball to hoard these to distribute to all the lil Tiger Kings and Carol Baskinses that'll be trick-or-treating this fall (God willing).
Anyways, the halvah's worth the try for the $3 or so. Like other TJ's selections, it just might help you discover something new to enjoy. It's good enough and approximates the real deal close enough, and dangit, I'm a man of many things, and a halvah snob isn't one of them. I'm just hoping for some more flavor variety. Our kiddos didn't seem to enjoy it much so it may be more of a grown up treat, for what it's worth. Between the two of us purported grown ups we'll hit with a seven.
Trader Joe's Organic Marbled Halvah: 7 out of 10 Golden Spoons.