Due to qizha’s richly dark look and sharp taste, people either love it – or hate it. But once you get past the shock of the first bite, it’s ‘an addictive experience’ for many.
Some call the nutty tehina paste the Israeli ketchup, but, among Israeli chefs, Nablus is known as the centuries-old king of tehina production, and many of them swear by Nabulsi producers.
Tahina, Tahini, Tehina… however you write it, this creamy and oily sesame paste is the main ingredient in hummus (after chickpeas of course). Nablus is famous for producing top quality tahini, and if you are in the old city it is definitely worth it to try to get a tour of one of the factories.
A city many have heard of, but few have visited. This clip from Fly with Haifa gives only a small taste of Madinat Nablus.
During the grim years of the second intifada, Nablus was famed for producing more suicide bombers than any other Palestinian city. The historic Old City saw bloody battles fought during repeated incursions by the Israeli military; the UN estimated that Nablus suffered some $110m worth of damage in April 2002 alone.
In the ancient city of Nablus in the West Bank, Palestinians make an inky black version of tahini called qizha that’s just about impossible to source outside of the region. Finding it has become a minor personal obsession.
Nablus-made tahini has always been well known, but now it may receive wider exposure. The Chief Rabbinate’s kashrut department said it recently received a request from the Alul Factory in Nablus, which manufactures tahini and halva (sweetmeat of sesame oil and nuts), to receive a kosher seal on their products.