Munchies Guide to Israel: Falafels

The falafel, a deep-fried ball of crispy goodness with a soft and flavorful inside, is a traditional Middle Eastern food to have most likely originated in Egypt.

Falafels are made from chickpeas, fava beans, or both; however, depending on where you get your falafels from, you can definitely find other variations.

In order to make them, chickpeas are soaked and ground up. They are then seasoned with onions, scallions, and herbs. Once the mixture has been made, it is shaped into balls and deep fried.Processed with VSCO with a6 presetThe best combo for a falafel is for it to be crispy on the outside, yet soft and not too oily on the inside. So in order to get the balls to perfection, the vat of oil that they are fried in must be at the perfect temperature (which I assume is quite hot!).Processed with VSCO with a6 presetAlthough you can ask for falafels on their own, they are commonly served with pita bread. In this case, the term “falafel” can technically be referred to the entire meal, though usually it more accurately describes the main ingredient (the chickpea balls found within it).

The pita bread can contain a multitude of fillings – which at most falafel places, you can chose yourself. Typically, you’ll have tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, tahini-based sauce, and pickled vegetables. Processed with VSCO with a6 presetIn my experience, falafel is considered more as “street food” in Israel. If you were planning to have falafel, you wouldn’t go to a top-notch restaurant to have it – you would instead go to a small falafel stall on the corner of the street, where the owners are taking orders, talking loudly, and making your falafels on the spot.

If you’re ever in Israel, make sure to try this staple dish out!

Have you tried falafel? Was it to your liking?