Lunch today is some homemade felafel. Mmm mmm mmm!
Felafel is typically deep-fried balls of chickpea and spices, served in a pita, and topped with salad and tahini sauce. Pictured left, these felafel patties were pan-fried.
While wandering through Israel last October, I saw signs everywhere advertising felafel. Knowing nothing of the food's history, I simply assumed it was an Israeli treat. How wrong I was.
This dish, this "mush of legumes" predates most modern countries in the Middle East. Originally an Arab food, felafel has become a symbol: "The newly arrived Jews needed a cuisine to suit their new identities and surroundings." The felafel represents their new (old?) home.
But some Arabs are upset by this "culture theft". They see it not as a relish of local food, but another culture stealing from their cuisine and claiming it as its own.
Arab or Israeli, felafel is damn good.