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Fragrant and complex, the Tava Hada Pilpelta Premium Harissa is a gourmet artisanal harissa that uses a unique recipe. It’s made with three types of peppers—mild Tunisian baklouti peppers smoked in olive wood, dried Kenyan bird’s eye chilis, and plump red habañeros. It also contains cumin and caraway, ground on site, crushed garlic, and authentic olive oil.
This is a very dense harissa, very concentrated. It has that homemade feel, and is not diluted, unlike supermarket harissa. It has a rich earthiness and a wonderful heat. These are perfectly balanced to create a flavorful paste with a kick.
You can use harissa paste in so many ways! You can mix it into your burger meat, or make a spicy condiment by mixing it into ketchup or mayonnaise. You can use it in stews, marinades, and salad dressings. Toss your vegetables with harissa before roasting, or use it as a rub for your meats.
Harissa is a hot chili pepper paste that originated in Mexico, and found its way to North Africa in 1492, through the Columbian Exchange. Its name comes from the Arabic verb, “harasa,” which means “to crush or press,” and refers to the process of crushing chili peppers into a paste. This paste is mixed with olive oil, garlic, and other spices to create harissa.
Tava Hada Pilpelta was founded by William Lellouche, who was born in Marseille to Algerian Jewish parents. He worked in air-condition unit installation, then worked in the food industry in various jobs before he found himself in an Italian restaurant, working his way up from cook to chef.
He’s always loved food, and when someone gave him a bird’s eye chili, he asked a Tunisian friend of his for a harissa recipe (harissa is the unofficial national sauce of Tunisia). He tested that recipe for three years before the final form of his harissa launched in January of 2020. The name comes from the first half of a Talmudic proverb, “One spicy pepper is better than a basketful of squash.”
He sold his Harissa Prestige to various large local Jewish shops in the community, but when the pandemic hit, had to pivot a little. So, he reached out to chefs who had some free time due to various restaurant and shop closures, to great success. Tava Hada Pilpelta is now found in many big gourmet shops, and even used by top chefs everywhere.
Store your harissa in a cool and dry place, like the pantry or a cupboard. Once opened, refrigerate, and consume within 6 weeks.