Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern dish that has become popular in Western countries. It’s usually deeply fried, but can also be baked or cooked on the stovetop.
The most common version consists of ground chickpeas or fava beans mixed with spices and deep-fried to create little balls of goodness.
In this blog post, we will explore what falafel tastes like so you can decide whether it is for you.
What is Falafel?
You can find falafel all over the world these days, but it originated in Middle Eastern cuisine. It consists of deep-fried balls or patties made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both.
The paste is mixed with spices, fresh herbs, garlic, and onion to form balls or patties. These are deep-fried until they turn brown on the outside but remain soft inside.
The word falafel comes from the Arabic word “filfil” which means pepper. In Egypt and Sudan, falafel is also called taʿmiya.
Falafel is common street food in the Middle East. Falafel is traditionally served in a pita sandwich, either wrapped or with the sides of vegetables.
What Does Falafel Taste Like? Does Falafel Taste Good?
There are many different versions of falafel, which can result in different tastes and textures. Despite all that, they tend to have similar tastes.
The falafel ball has been described as being similar to a savory donut and is usually dipped in tahini sauce before eating.
It is traditionally deeply fried, which can result in a crispy outside but soft inside that has absorbed the flavor of frying oil.
There may be other spices added to complement falafel such as onions for sweetness. While others use coriander seed due to their aromatic qualities create more depth-filled flavors. Some restaurants offer variations with cheese inside the balls.
Although it has crispy outside with a soft inside, it does not have the crunch that people expect from deep-fried foods.
The texture of falafel varies depending on the type of bean used to make it. Chickpea-based falafel tends to have a softer texture while fava bean-based falafel tends to be denser.
Are All Falafels Vegan?
As mentioned, there are lots of versions of falafel, some are not vegan. The best way to avoid the risk of eating a non-vegan version is by reading through ingredients and checking with your server about what type they offer before ordering it or if you have any questions ask them now.
It could also depend on the type of sauce you order with your falafels as well. Because some sauces might contain milk and egg whites in them while others do not.
Is Falafel like Hushpuppy?
Hushpuppies are deep-fried cornmeal balls that are usually served with seafood. It’s understandable why some people might confuse the two due to their appearance.
But a big key difference that separates the two is their texture. Hushpuppies are soft on both ends and have a hardened center, while falafel balls remain largely crispy throughout with softer centers when fried to perfection.
What Do You Eat with Falafel?
Falafel is usually served with pita bread, vegetables, and a sauce of varying flavors. You can also enjoy it with tahini or hummus dips to give it an added burst in flavor.
Pickles, olives, tomatoes, and onions are just some of the toppings you can add to a falafel sandwich. You may also want to try adding parsley or cilantro for an extra kick.
Whether you are eating falafel as an appetizer or a main course, there is no shortage of popular dishes to eat with it.
Some other favorites include shawarma (a type of meat), kabobs (chicken or beef), and rice pilaf along with salads.
Falafel is a tasty Middle Eastern dish that comes in many styles. It can be eaten as a meal or an appetizer and goes well with just about anything.
If you’re looking for something new to try, order a falafel dish at your favorite restaurant today – it doesn’t get much better than this deliciously unique food style.