The refugees that arrived in Greece and settled in the northern Greek region of Macedonia after the destruction of the city of Smyrna (modern-day Izmir in Turkey) in 1922, started the production and trade of halva since they had the tradition and know-how of its preparation.
Halva is one of the most celebrated sweets of the Lenten period. Many Greeks associate it with Ash Monday or Shrove Monday but it actually is consumed any day of the year while it has a great nutritious value.
The traditional homemade halva is made using as basic ingredient semolina (simigdali), with the addition of butter or oil, sugar or petimezi and water. That is the fastest and easiest way to prepare it. It can also be flavored with cinnamon, cloves and orange zest with almonds, peanuts, raisins and pieces of fruit added.