What Does Falafel Taste Like

The vegan delicacy falafel can be consumed in a pita, on it's own, fried or baked. Originally a Middle Eastern delicacy, let's find out what the ingredients are.

By Carmen Slabbert
Edited by Taj Schlebusch

Published November 23, 2021.

Falafel is a favorite vegan delicacy in Middle Eastern countries like Israel. The origin of falafel is thought to be in Egypt as a meat substitute during fasting or lent. It can be consumed as breakfast, lunch, or dinner, although it is enjoyed initially as part of breakfast. But what exactly is falafel, and what does it taste like?

What Is Falafel?

Falafel is a traditional Israeli, deep-fried or baked ball or patty-shaped fritters. The main ingredient in falafel is ground chickpeas, broad beans, or both. It is usually served in a pita with salads, pickled vegetables, hot sauce, and is drizzled with tahini-based sauces.

The ingredients for traditional falafel are grounded chickpeas or broad beans, baking soda, roughly cut onions, chopped fresh parsley, cloves of garlic, flour, salt, cumin, ground coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, ground cardamom, baking powder, and oil for frying.

How Does Falafel Smell and Taste?

Because of the different ingredients in an authentic falafel recipe and everyone adds something else, the smell and taste can vary. The chickpeas and fava beans only contribute slightly to the smell and taste of the falafel. The rest comes from the herbs and spices in the mixture.

The texture of the falafel is crispy on the outside because it is usually deep-fried and soft on the inside. The color varies due to the addition of certain herbs and spices.

Baked falafels vs. fried falafels depend on your preferences. Frying the falafel is the authentic way of making it, but it also makes it oily. Baking the falafel makes it healthier to eat and less oily. But it is not as crispy as when fried.

Falafel is a great addition to a vegan diet because it is a great meat substitute. The smell and taste can be a little offsetting if you are not used to it, but it's worth tasting.