Dear Mike Huckabee, This Is What Falafel Actually Smells Like

by Alexandra Svokos
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Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, noted bigot, argued the US should stop letting refugees into the country after the Paris terrorist attacks.

He said,

We better wake up and smell the falafel.

And you know what? Hell yeah, let’s wake up and smell the falafel. It smells f*cking delicious. I would be overjoyed waking up to fresh falafel!

Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern dish that may have originated in Egypt, but it’s been claimed by many nations -- and especially beloved in Israel, a country Huckabee is quick to protect.

Falafel is vegetarian and often used as a substitute for meat. It’s typically served in a pita with a sauce -- hummus, tahini, toum, tzatziki, take your pick -- and some veggies or as a plate with a sauce and grain.

You can get it from the Middle East to Paris to New York to Los Angeles as street food, in sit-down restaurants and in fast-food chains.

So what exactly does falafel smell like? Chickpeas, coriander and cumin make up the overwhelming scent (unless you're in Egypt, where it's made with fava beans instead of chickpeas).

If you follow Martha Stewart’s recipe for falafel (she also has one for tahini), you essentially put chickpeas, garlic, onion, herbs, baking soda, salt and lemon juice into a food processor, then stir in a beaten egg and toasted sesame seeds.

Heat oil in a big pan and fry up the mixture, after letting it sit in the fridge for a bit. Et voilà: falafel!

If you don’t like frying, you can also bake falafel. It’s a versatile dish made out of healthy ingredients.

And one more thing, Huckabee: the original phrase you’re quoting is “wake up and smell the coffee.”

That coffee you’re drinking? It was brought to the United States from Europe, which got it from the Middle East.