Semana Santa. The spectacle is really quite interesting, if you ignore the misery and suffering that it comes from. You know, Jesus being beaten and then murdered, the persecution of Jews and Muslims in Spain in the 1500’s, general religious violence and the continuing domination of everyday life. But, its fun to watch I suppose, looking at the people dressed in Ku Klux Klan robes, the weeping brides of Christ, the bobbing head of the roman soldier…
Because of all this entertainment and endless crowds, I only managed to fit one falafel in the entire weekend. I have some friends who had been bragging about this particular falafel shop for months, ever since they moved here. They had been there an impressive number of times already despite only living here a month or 2. They were not falafel tourists, either, I may add. They had both travelled extensively in the Middle East and therefore they had the experience I value in a recommend-er of falafel.
It was time for a mid-day falafel. I had already been to the gym and I was feeling like I needed a good dose of protein. My stomach was rumbling greedily as I approached the falafel shop, sweating slightly in anticipation (or due to the unrelenting sun perhaps). I entered the shop. Located on the corner, slightly apart from other falafel takeaways, it was one I had passed on numerous occasions.
I strode boldly in, taking in the fresh prepared salads in the bowls in the glass encasement and scanning the menu. Naturally they had the option of egg and cheese. I went for the ‘normal’, like a normal person. In my book of falafel, anything else is just wrong. He asked me if I wanted chili sauce, to which I replied in the affirmative, and watched as he placed a substantial layer of mixed salad in my bun which included olives. The bun itself was of a pleasing texture and consistency- strong thin pitta with a satisfying dusting of flour. However, this is where the positives ended. He stuffed it into the microwave for a few moments, after which I managed to stop him just in time before he dolloped the revolting white sauce all over it. It was a lack-lustre putting together of a falafel- there was no passion there. The only time he seemed particularly animated was when he asked me where I would eat said falafel. “in your house? as you walk? in the park?” It was a bit too close to what I imagine the Spanish Inquisition to be like, or perhaps he was angling for an invite but either way I replied in a deliberately vague fashion to put him off.
I walked urgently to the park and sat down with my notebook to enjoy my meal. Biting into the falafel, I was filled with a sense of joy followed by hollow despair. It was dry and the falafel lacked any type of flavour. Why can’t falafel in Spain be deep fried in order to achieve crispy-ness? Why can’t they provide a smothering of hummus or at the very least a tahini – based sauce? I know they have both tahini and chickpeas, and in abundance I may add.
I was completely sober, which could have been my downfall, but the falafel was certainly nothing to write
home a blog post about. I ate it all, naturally, and the large size was a bonus point. The price was right at €2.50 as well. However, the search will continue for the best falafel in Granada. Pizza Shawarma Pakistani? You’re just not it.
Level of intoxication: 0/5
Condiments: 2.5/5 – contained a decent amount of spicy sauce
Flavour of actual falafel: 2/5
Minus 5 points for lack of hummus