If I tell you that I don’t ever bother eating falafel because I remain steadfastly unmoved by hockey pucks of desiccated legumes swamped in tepid goop, and wrapped in a chewy blanket, then you will understand my initial reluctance to eat falafel on the Rue de Rosiers, in the history-laden Jewish Quarter of Paris, in the Marais the other week.
Well, I have the humility to admit that I was a mistaken fool, because the falafel that Tara and I inhaled, with some help from Ayla, at Chez H’anna at the far end of the street was not falafel as we know it.
This was something quite, quite different. I should have known when Tara acted like a laser-guided falafel hound. She knew what she wanted and where…and Tara *always* knows the best places for, well, everything.
For a start (or end I guess)., it was topped with a disc of fried aubergine (eggplant). I don’t even really like the vegetable and yet this was ambrosial. Crispy, silky, hot, intensely savoury.
Underneath it in a perfect fluffy pitta, was lots of fresh shredded cabbage and carrot, a little cucumber, salads, a kind of Middle Eastern salsa-y tomato sauce, some chilli sauce too, a generous amount of tahini and, of course, the lightest, crispiest, non-hockey puck falafel.
I could happily have gone back for a second.
Here are my happy falafel girls.
Chez H’anna, 54 Rue des Rosiers, 75004, 4th Arrondissement, Paris.