April 14, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
April 14, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Where Can I Find the World’s Best Falafel?

(onlysimchas.com) Celebrating 69 years of Israel’s independence, World Bnei Akiva (WBA) announced the winners of a unique international project that it launched in diaspora countries prior to Yom Ha’atzmaut: International Falafel Contest: Rate the World’s Best Falafel. First place went to Beni Falafel in Antwerp, Belgium.

World Bnei Akiva’s 150 delegates, who are dispersed among 50 locations in 24 countries around the world, were asked to visit the falafel store nearest them and rate the meal they received based on a list of questions compiled by the movement especially for this contest. Falafel meals were rated by tasters in their respective countries, who submitted their ratings for review. Participating in the event were falafel stores in countries including Italy, Finland, Mexico, the USA, Australia, Belgium, Germany, South Africa and the Netherlands.

Delegates were asked to rate a variety of aspects, including the freshness of the pita, cost of the meal, number of balls per portion, and balance of tastes. The last question instructed the delegates to assign a general rating to the falafel meal.

The answers to the questionnaires revealed several interesting findings: Falafel stores in Europe best imitate the traditional Middle Eastern taste of the food. Portion generosity, which measured the number of falafel balls per meal, was awarded to King Falafel in Mexico, which stuffs a generous nine balls into each portion. In Melbourne, Mama Falafel allows diners to make their own falafel. In Beni Falafel in Antwerp, pitas are heated in a cast-iron skillet.

It should be noted that some World Bnei Akiva delegates are stationed in locations where there is no kosher falafel to be had. Notwithstanding that, even in those cities, delegates eagerly participated in the falafel contest by brainstorming for creative solutions. In Dusseldorf, Germany, for example, delegates rated the falafel served on the school menu where they work; and in Johannesburg, delegates sponsored a special evening dedicated to learning about and creating Israel’s national food. During the course of the evening, WBA branch members revealed who among them was the most creative and talented falafel chef!

The most expensive falafel of all was in Café 61 in Perth, Australia, which cost approximately 32.50 NIS. Trailing right behind it was Yesh in Rome, Italy, where a falafel costs 27.50 NIS. The freshest pitas in the world can be found in Beni Falafel in Antwerp and at the Falafel Night in Johannesburg, which was sponsored for WBA youth.

Two cities tied for both second and third places: Third place went to La Pizzeria in Great Neck, New York and Yesh in Roma, which both received general ratings of 8.5. Falafels that scored second place were Mama Falafel in Melbourne, Australia, and Golan Lunchroom in Amsterdam, Holland, which scored a general rating of 9. First place was indisputably Beni Falafel in Antwerp, which received the highest general score of 9.4.

Meir, a WBA delegate in Antwerp, is proud of the falafel rating that his city received. He shares, “Beni Falafel would be a serious competitor to falafel stores in Israel. The taste, accompaniments and atmosphere in the place do a fabulous job. In my opinion, the cleanliness and bright décor should be emulated by falafel stores in Israel. I’m proud to be a WBA delegate and even prouder to be a delegate in the city that earned the world’s highest falafel rating.”

A spokesperson for World Bnei Akiva says: “Israel’s Independence Day, like many Israeli holidays, is celebrated in Israel and the diaspora with a special meal. In honor of this day we decided to emphasize the world’s connection to Israel through food. There’s no food that’s more Israeli than falafel. Going out for falafel in countries outside of Israel is more than just going out to eat. It’s a mini celebration of Israel, and the establishment itself is a little piece of the land that’s manifest through the smells, tastes and sound of Hebrew spoken among the diners. In the last few weeks WBA delegates around the world have been rating falafel restaurants and stands in countries around the world, and we’re happy to announce World Bnei Akiva’s international falafel ratings.”

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles