Today on Google’s home page is an animated falafel. I’ll be honest, I am not personally a huge falafel fan and yes, I’ve had my share since I visit the middle east (Israel) every now and then. But for some reason, today, June 18th, Google decided to celebrate the food.
A falafel is a deep-fried ball, or a flat or doughnut-shaped patty, made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both. You then normally take those falafel balls, stick them in a pita bread with a tahini sauce, some chopped up salad and then other things like fries or other salads. It can get messy to put together and also eat if you are not a pro.
Today’s Doodle celebrates falafel, the best thing that ever happened to chickpeas—with the possible exception of hummus, of course.
Although the exact origins of this spicy street food have been lost to the mists of time, falafel has been enjoyed for centuries in many different cultures. India produces the vast majority of the world’s chickpea crop, which currently is in high season. In Egypt, fava beans are ground to make these delicious, crispy balls of fried plant protein, known in Egypt as “ta’amiya.” Israel has a song to celebrate its love affair with the tried-and-true treat, entitled And We Have Falafel.
Over time, more eclectic toppings has been introduced all over the world, ranging from German sauerkraut, to Iraqi fried eggplant, to Indian mango sauce, to Yemeni hot sauce. Even newer variations such as the red falafel—made with jalapeños roasted peppers, tomatoes, and spicy yogurt—or the orange falafel—made with sweet potatoes, cabbage, honey, and ginger tahini—preserve the basic formula of ground legumes, seasoned and fried in oil. The world’s largest falafel, weighing 74.8 kilograms (164.8 pounds) and reaching 152 centimeters (59.8 inches) in height, was fried for 25 minutes at the Landmark Hotel in Amman, Jordan.
Forum discussion at Twitter.