The Pros and Cons of Greek Food

RECIPE: Falafel with Tzatziki

I adore Greek food. The Greeks know how to do it right. And the Italians, they don’t suck at yum. Well and the Mexicans, duh. OK, maybe I like food in general. But Greek food especially. There are just so many things to love about it:

1. Pitas – mmm, bread. Soft, warm bread.

2. Hummus – sometimes mixed with amazing things like roasted red peppers and cilantro.

3. Creamy sauces – with cucumbers mixed in!

4. Giant slabs of well-seasoned but generally unidentifiable meat cooked on a huge skewer and shaved off – what is there not to love?

5. When you’re in actual Greece they put french fries directly into your gyro. Genius. Why don’t we do that here?

I do, however, have one bone to pick with my Greeky folk. Right now, as I sit here typing the morning after assembling and devouring a Greek-inspired dinner, my mouth tastes like I had too many pints in a pub and woke up the next morning to do the walk of shame from Shrek’s cottage in the swamp. It tastes like I made out with an ogre; is what I’m saying. You know the stink waves they have in cartoons to indicate when things smell real real bad? It tastes like that.

The problem is the raw garlic. It tastes so good going down, but then it sticks around. I’ve brushed my teeth this morning already and it’s still lingering like an annoying house guest who won’t leave.

I kind of think the only solution is to have more Greek food for lunch. Mmmm… worth it.

Anyway, last night I made falafel with tzatziki (which would be an awesome Words With Friends word if I hadn’t abandoned playing altogether out of the stress of keeping up with 15 games at once and not wanting to turn anyone down to play).

It turned out really well. I tried to make falafel one time several years ago but I just kind of made it up as I went along. I thought, “Hey, how hard can it be? Chickpeas, cilantro, bread crumbs, garlic? That seems right…” but then when I fried them they melted into chickpea mush, which promptly burned.

This time I used an actual recipe made up by someone else and whattaya know? It actually worked. Score one for following directions and not just making shit up as you go along.

Jason liked it also, although after he was done he said he was still hungry. I personally think that’s a psychosomatic reaction he has to eating food without meat. Unless there’s a slab of dead animal in his dinner he’s ‘still hungry’.

Honey, that truckload of falafel, bread and yogurt sauce was a lovely appetizer, but where is the dead animal portion of my meal? I’m starving.

Five out of five shots of Ouzo for me (which, coincidentally also makes your mouth taste like you’ve spent the evening licking the pavement in New York City the next day).

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7 Responses to The Pros and Cons of Greek Food

  1. JT says:

    I first had falafel with tzatziki as hospitality food for the officials at a swim-meet (at McClintock HS pool, if I remember correctly). Can you imagine that? Swim parents made home-made falafel with tzatziki on-deck at a swim meet!!! I mean, they actually made the falafel and tzatziki at home, but they deep-fried the falafel and assembled the individual meals (falafel with veggies wrapped in pita, dressed with tzatziki) on-deck. It remains, hands down, the best hospitality meal I had in my entire 13-year career as a USS Swim Official.
    And I think I might just try your version of it sometime soon.

  2. Sarah says:

    Seriously! That looks so delish. I am currently on the verge of driving over to your house to eat the leftovers on the off-chance that there are any. Why have you never made that for me?

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Yeah, remember when I tried and failed spectacularly one year in San Diego? I hadn’t tried again. But this was totally successful, so I will make it for you soon.

  4. Amanda N says:

    I’m making this! Damn you WAndaS and your recipes! If I keep cooking YOUR recipes, I’ll never have new material for my own posts!! BAH!

  5. AmandaD says:

    I’ve always wanted to make falafel, but I didn’t realize it was so easy!!

  6. cindy says:

    I was looking for an easy chicken picata and your site came up. I just LOVE your recipes (very doable) and especially how funny your comments are. Very cool. Thanks.

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