Sweetness that spans ages

Muscat: Omani people have known the craft of making halwa for many centuries. It earns livelihood for many people. It is a favourite of Omani and foreigners and it is a key element in official and social occasions that reflect Omani generosity and hospitality over the ages.
Omani halwa is manufactured and marketed as a major and important requirement in a number of occasions including Eid al Fitr, Eid al Adha and marriages. Most of the Sultanate’s visitors from all over the world buy Omani halwa and carry them home.
In the past, Omani sailors took halwa in their voyages from the seaports of the Sultanate across the world such as Basra in Iraq, Al Ahmadi and Al Shuwaikh in the State of Kuwait, Dar es Salaam, Mombasa and Zanzibar, India and Bandar Abbas, and Manama in the Kingdom of Bahrain and kept them in containers made of palm fronds or aluminium for several weeks or months, and they always remained edible.
Saif bin Said al Amri, owner of Omani halwa factory, said that the history of Omani halwa industry in the Sultanate is ancient, and it flourished and was famous during the reign of Nabhani kings who ruled Oman more than 700 years ago and wrote a collection of poems about halwa.
Al Amri told Oman News Agency (ONA) that the Omani halwa industry has witnessed a lot of modernisation and development. The halwa factories now have to obtain official permits, in addition to comprehensive medical examination for workers and place. Among the development in the Omani halwa industry is the addition of new flavours like saffron, many types of nuts, cane sugar, figs, Dhofari frankincense and Omani bee honey. In the past they used only starch, white sugar, oil and water.
Omani halwa has several names and each name refers to different ingredients and flavours and sold at different prices such as special halwa, royal, yellow, black and Dhofari frankincense. Halwa is packed in pottery, plastic and containers in the shape of daggers, swords, castles, forts and other historical and archaeological monuments the Sultanate known for. The aim is to attract shoppers.