BBQ fans have long-standing and seemingly eternal debates about whether Kansas or Carolina styles are better. There is a similar debate raging within the community of falafel fans. Two primary styles of falafels are known throughout the world, one being Greek, and the other Israeli. The ongoing debate is which one is better than the other.
Falafels in general are a wonderful food. When they are traditionally made, they are in fact a vegan food but serve as a good source of protein for anyone that has adopted a diet free of meat. Those in food business consulting know that there is also not much fat to falafel, and even little to no cholesterol if a heart-friendly grapeseed oil is used for the frying. A good falafel can become a full meal when it is topped with veggies and put in a pita.
Israeli falafels were adopted from the regional Arab cuisine. The most prevalent form is made using chickpeas. Israeli falafels using pita pocketing are actually the most popular fast food in Israel. Those of and from Israel, as well as recent visitors, swear by Israeli falafels. Watch this video of how this traditional street food is prepared:
Traditional Greek Falafel Platter
On the other hand, Greeks are very proud of their cuisine, and visitors to Greece for vacations get exposed to the other style of falafel. Greece if more of a Mediterranean nation than a Middle Eastern one, as it is fully in Europe (even neighboring Turkey is partly in Asia, geographically and culturally). As such, the ingredients and methodology of making falafels is a bit different, although the food is pretty identical to its Arabic roots, perhaps just not as much as Israeli falafels.
The truth is that both styles of falafel are good and healthy eating when made right. The choice over which is better is often a subjective one based on you where you traveled and what you have been exposed to culturally.
Greek cuisine features all kinds of great food dishes. You may have tried some Greek food in other countries, but it doesn’t get more authentic than traveling to Greece and sampling all of the finest delicacies in their home country. It’s traditional Mediterranean cuisine at its finest, whether you’re up for a delicious gyro or a simple appetizer of olives mixed in olive oil.
You can certainly enjoy olives in olive oil anywhere in the world. However, this is a dish you want to try when visiting Greece, a place known for its plump, juicy and delicious olives and the natural oil they are marinaded in. Both are cooking staples in the country, so you’re going to encounter plenty of dishes cooked in olive oil and that require olives as an ingredient, too.
Have you heard of fish roe dip? There are actually all kinds of dips that you can try, one of them being a cucumber and garlic dip which many associate with the lamb gyros. While in Greece, you want to try the fish roe dip, the technical name being Taramasalata. There are different ways this dip can be made, but a bread base is quite popular. Olive oil is also part of the equation. This authentic Greek dish is one that you don’t want to leave the country without trying.
One more Greek dish you can’t pass up is layered Moussaka. Different meats baked in a dish with potatoes, veggies, cheeses and more is what you get with this traditional meal. Of course, there are plenty of other great foods to try, like the fast food gyros and the skewers that are known to be so popular in Greece, too. You might as well have it all as you travel to Greece. Think about all of the great grilled meats and Mediterranean style delicacies that await you.
Before you go anywhere – you should learn the language. Trust me, I went to Israel not knowing a stitch of Hebrew and although everyone thinks English, I felt stupid. So in order to prepare you for your travels in Greece – here’s a video that will teach you common words and phrases that you can use in your travels!