What’s up with falafel? It’s almost a given that your tour guide in Egypt, Jordan, or Israel will offer the option to grab a falafel for lunch while you are out and about touring.
The origins of this vegetarian sandwich are a bit of a mystery, though the common theory is that falafel originated in Egypt possibly by the Copts as a replacement for eating meat during lent. Some say the origins go back as far as to when the Pharaohs ruled Egypt.
Nowadays the food has become a common staple of street food throughout the middle east as a quick source of protein and is recognized as a national dish in many countries throughout the Levant. If you are to stop someone in the street and ask where to buy a falafel each person will give you their recommendation on the best restaurant/stand to enjoy this savory and very filling vegetarian sandwich.
Yes, its true falafel has made inroads into the global fast-food arena especially among the vegetarian crowd, falafel can be found in many food courts throughout the world and is known as a quick satiety dish, still, there is something unique, savory, and heavenly about the way its made in the middle east.
The bottom line: when your guide asks if you want to grab a falafel, go ahead and give it a try, enjoy the unique savory taste and smell of your freshly made falafel whether it’s stuffed in a pita or wrapped in a lafa and don’t forget the extra garnishes as well!