Israel’s Search for the Perfect Falafel


UPDATE 6 pm Israel time Saturday:

There are unconfirmed reports of a possible kidnapping attempt in Samaria about one hour ago. An Israel motorist apparently had her car pelted with “rocks”, was forced to stop, and then was dragged out of her car by assailants. She then apparently escaped when another motorist happened by. Again this report has just come in and awaits confirmation.

TODAY’S BLOG:

Chick-peas galore!

As we all know, Israel has a love affair with the lowly chick-pea. It is virtually impossible to go to an Israeli restaurant and not have hummus on the table. In some areas, virtually every street corner has a falafel stand–some of which have become famous throughout the country for their delicious product.

In fact, there is a humorous yet serious ongoing national quest to find the best falafel “joint” in Israel–but that of course depends on your taste. Do you prefer heavily fried, moderately fried, or lightly fried? Do you prefer a heavily blended mixture, a moderately blended mixture, or a lightly blended coarser mixture (the latter is your humble servant’s favorite because I like to “feel the chick-peas” in the falafel)? The varieties of falafels and hummus are endless. 

Believe it or not, chick-peas are used in many other products as well–there is even an Israeli ice cream made from the legume. And of course, the chick-pea is transformed into a “garbanzo bean” for salads and the like.

So, as it turns out, the chick-pea is not so lowly after all. An outstanding source of protein and lutein (an anti-oxidant), chick-peas are now the second most widely consumed legume in the world. The country that is number one in chick-pea production is India where it has become a staple of many vegetarian dishes.

Long a fan of chick-peas of all sorts, your humble servant was interested to recently read the following announcement:

Yissum, the Research and Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is introducing new chickpea varieties — which retain high nutritional values and exhibit improved synchronization between flowering and the rainy season to increase yield.

The new chickpea varieties were developed by Professor Shahal Abbo, of the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment at Hebrew U. He used non-GMO breeding technologies that are characterized by larger seeds, high lutein content, moderate tolerance to fungal infection and improved synchronization between flowering and the rainy season to increase the yield.

I say the more chick-peas the better–or maybe the better chick-peas the better.  

Yummy in the tummy! (picture source: http://israel21c.org)

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This entry was posted in News and tagged agriculture, assailants, car, delicious, dragged out, falafel, falafel stand, fried, fungal infection, garbanzo bean, hebrew university, hummus, ice cream, in search, increase yield, india, kidnapping, legume, love affair, lutein, national quest, nutritional value, perfect, protein, rainy season, research and development, robert h smith faculty, rocks, salads, Samaria, shahal abbo, staple, synchronization, tummy, yissum, yummy. Bookmark the permalink.

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