PNG images: Falafel
Falafel or felafel, is a deep-fried ball, doughnut or patty made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both. Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern food, that most likely originated in Egypt. It is commonly served in a pita, which acts as a pocket, or wrapped in a flatbread known as taboon; "falafel" also frequently refers to a wrapped sandwich that is prepared in this way. The falafel balls are topped with salads, pickled vegetables, hot sauce, and drizzled with tahini-based sauces. Falafel balls may also be eaten alone as a snack or served as part of a meze (assortment of appetizers).
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Falafel grew to become a common form of street food or fast food in the Middle East. The croquettes are regularly eaten as part of meze. During Ramadan, falafel balls are sometimes eaten as part of the iftar, the meal that breaks the daily fast after sunset. Falafel became so popular that McDonald's for a time served a "McFalafel" in its breakfast menu all over Egypt. Falafel is still popular with all Egyptians, who eat it on a daily basis along with ful medames and even cook large volumes during religious holidays. Debates over the origin of falafel have sometimes devolved into political discussions about the relationship between Arabs and Israelis In modern times, falafel has been considered a national dish in its native Egypt, also in Palestine, and of Israel. Resentment exists amongst many Palestinians for what they see as the appropriation of their dish by Israelis. Additionally, the Lebanese Industrialists' Association attempted to claim Protected Designated Origin status, partly to prevent Israeli use of the word.
Falafel plays an iconic role in Israeli cuisine and is widely considered to be the national dish of the country. While falafel is not a specifically Jewish dish, it was eaten by Mizrahi Jews in their countries of origin. Later, it was adopted by early Jewish immigrants to Palestine. Due to its being entirely plant based, it is considered pareve under Jewish dietary laws and gained acceptance with Jews because it could be eaten with meat or dairy meals.According to Jonathan Kis-Lev, falafel and hummus are often used as symbols for peace,[clarification needed] as well as tools for bridging Israelis and Palestinians.
In 2012, one of the hotels in the capital of Jordan, Amman, prepared the world's largest Falafel disc weighing about 75 kg – breaking the previous record set at a Jewish food festival In California, United States.