Falafel fun as fans unite for chickpea celebration day

By Josh Jackman, June 12, 2012

It's International Falafel Day! The day of the deep-fried chickpea balls is finally upon us. Falafels may have been enjoyed for hundreds of years, but this is the first time they have been allocated their very own place in the calendar.

Fans of the savoury treat have been encouraged to post www.falafelday.com in their Facebook status, and tweet stories and pictures of themselves taking part in the chickpea-based celebration using the hashtag #falafelday.

Creator Ben Lang, who also founded Hummus Day, explained:"We want this day to bring together countries around the world … People should put aside politics when eating this dish and enjoy". His goal may have been achieved, as enthusiasts from Belfast to Malaysia have been expressing their delight at being handed an excuse to indulge in the Middle Eastern dish that is now a global phenomenon.

The 24-hour long tribute to Israel's favourite pitt a-based delicacy seems to be going well, as one devotee began his day by ecstatically tweeting "Falafel breakfast, oh how we have waited for you", while another championed the campaign's intention of "Uniting the world through Falafel."

There are many competing theories for why falafels have achieved such widespread popularity, but Christian Mouysset, who manages a branch of Hummus Brothers in Soho, puts it down to the snack's incredible variety:

"There are so many ways of customising it. You can put parsley, onion seed, or garlic in it, and it's gluten-free too. It suits a lot of people, which attracts even more people to it."

He doesn't see any end to the falafel's rise to prominence either, cheerfully stating: "We're looking to bring [the falafel] more to the front of the menu, and give it a more permananent position. We didn't use to have it on our menu, and now about 25 per cent of our customers order it."

Wherever you are in the world, here's hoping that you're near a purveyor of the wonderful foodstuff, so that you can join in the festivities. After all, no-one deserves the fate of one unfortunate fan, who tweeted despairingly: "it's #falafelday and I have no #falafel and no idea where to get any".

Last updated: 3:18pm, June 12 2012