Taste test: Falafel
Falafel are a handy staple to keep in the fridge, in that they can be used in salads and sandwiches and as part of a vegetarian dinner.
On a recent meatless Monday, we tested a few of the different versions widely available in supermarkets and health food shops. This is what we made of them. (Spoiler alert: none were as good as the ones you get at a market stall or in one of the specialist falafel restaurants that are cropping up all over the place, probably in part because those are deep-fried and ours were simply cooked in the oven. You could deep-fry at home for a more authentic experience.)
Florentin Organic Falafel, 240g, €3.99, 8/10
These organic falafel are made with chickpeas, fresh onions and parsley, and are gluten free and vegan. Despite that, our testers thought they were the best of the bunch, with good flavour and consistency.
M&S Fresh Herb Falafels, 144g, €3.70, 7/10
Our testers thought that these M&S versions tasted more like onion bhajis than falafel, but they liked them well enough. Made with broad beans, chickpeas and fresh coriander and parsley, and spiced with cumin and coriander.
Cauldron Falafels, 200g, €3, 6/10
We bought these in Tesco and our testers found them dull but inoffensive. You'd need a good bit of hummus and harissa to liven them up.
Delphi Deli Falafel, 110g, €2.25, 4/10
This is the kind of falafel that gives them a bad name - dry, sawdusty and almost entirely without flavour. You can taste the bicarbonate of soda.
Great Food Aromatic Moroccan Falafel, 200g, €3, 2/10
We picked up these falafel in Dunnes - the brand is in the process of changing its name to Gosh. The Moroccan angle involves red peppers, fruit and Moroccan spicing as well as the usual chickpeas, making them very sweet. Our testers did not like them at all. Gluten free and dairy free.