Today is a very special day for Egyptians and Arabs alike as it marks World Falafel Day. Even Google took the time to celebrate our all-time favourite morning treat with one of its iconic cute doodles.
Falafel, or as Cairenes call it, taameya, is crispy, deeply fried balls made from chickpeas or fava beans, and sometimes a mixture of both.
We’ve been eating it for ages now, yet only a few know about its origins. Unfortunately, no one knows for sure where it came from, but there’s a theory that it originated in Egypt. It is said that ancient Egyptians invented it thousands of years ago; drawings of falafel were even spotted on some ancient walls. Another theory says that Coptic Egyptians are the ones who called it falafel since it was full of “fool” (fava beans). Hence “falafel”, being the plural of “fool”. However, many Arab countries, like Yemen, Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria, have argued about the origin of taameya, all claiming that they were the ones who invented it.
Taameya managed to embed itself in vegans’ hearts; they even use it to make green burgers. In the US, for example, they use falafel to make vegan meatballs, sloppy joes, and meatloaf. Seems like everybody loves falafel!
By Yara Tarek