What Is A Falafel? Where and When Was Falafels Born?

falafel

What Is A Falafel & It's History 

Take a handful of chickpeas, soak them for about 12 hours, & grind them down. Mix everything up with fresh parsley, some scallions, and a bit of garlic (finely chopped), then put some small spices in for good measure.

Roll this prepared mixture up into small balls, fry them, & you get falafel. Simple, delicious, and extremely cheap to cook - no wonder that yummy falafel is such a famous food dish today. 

But these delicious savory chunks are not immune to the pitfalls of fame. Because everybody wants to have a bite of yummy falafel, many people are now claiming to be its inventors. 

Since, everyone has been cooking this dish to suit their own tastes & for local agriculture, we are having an extremely hard time finding where the word & recipe actually comes from.

Where and When Was Falafel Born? 

Falafel was first cooked in Egypt, 1000 years before the birth of Christ. But honestly speaking, it is very hard to say! We do know this fact that the people of Egypt had beans, and that they mastered frying and chose animal fat when doing so. 

traditional falafel dish

Another story suggests that Falafel was first invented specifically by the famous Coptic Christians of Egypt. Those people would have chosen the falafel dish as a great alternative to chicken or meat during Lent, because of its quite similar look to the meatballs. 

It should be remembered, however varieties of different versions of rounded sweet patties throughout the whole world are usually of Jewish origin.

How Did This Popular Ball Spread to the Whole of the Middle East? 

The Middle East is considered as an extremely commercial region, there’s a lot of trade in this particular region, a lot of commercial ports: Gaza, Beirut, etc. The falafel cuisine spread all over the world thanks to these streams. Wars, battles & conquests are also considered as the origin of Falafel spread. 

It should also be considered that Lebanon, Jordan & Egypt were here for quite a while. One of the accepted stories places the invention of delicious falafel in modern times, in the late 1800s. 

falafel with dip

This is only about the time when the yummy cuisine started appearing in the famous Egyptian literature, right after British occupation in the year 1882. 

According to this story, the British army officers really enjoyed fried vegetable croquettes when they were actually in India & asked their Egyptian chefs to make a version with local food ingredients. It is believed that the famous falafel first emerged in the famous region of Alexandria, the principal port of Egypt & the city with the biggest concentration of European army. 

Unlike many of the famous versions served in modern falafel restaurants, this first ever falafel was cooked with fresh fava beans. The debate of who deep-fried the first ever falafel patty is quite heated in the whole Middle East region. 

People of all religions and from all cultures in the area really enjoy it. But unfortunately, the governments in the region want to claim all the local foods as their own of cultural legacy, for their political gains Whatever may be the origin of Falafel, the truth is that it is very delicious and because of its unique flavors it is loved all over the world.

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