Falafel — really good fast food

Falafel with shark meat on bread.

Falafel with shark meat on bread.

You have possibly seen the falafel stall at our Galway markets; Oranmore, Moycullen, and Galway city. You will also see it at most music festivals and you may even see it on some TV and film sets. You may have seen it and passed by, wondering what exactly it is, and would I like it?

I think the answer to that is yes, you definitely would like it and yes you should treat yourself the next time you encounter the ‘Falafel Man’. This is what the owner Flo has become know as. Behind the quiet spoken exterior, Flo is a man on a mission, determined to bring falafel and other unusual gourmet experiences to everyone.

Flo came to Galway from Holland where falafel is what many students eat to sustain them through the day. He was a chef in Holland and learned several types of ethnic cooking styles, Indonesian in particular, and he has now expanded it to the world of catering for parties with a menu of eclectic dishes. An example would be turkey mole poblano from Mexico which contains ingredients such as four types of chillies, chocolate, almonds, peanuts, onions, cinnamon, raisins, and lots more.

Flo had the recent honour of winning the Bridgestone 2008 Award at the Electric Picnic festival for the best food. This is a big achievement and he really has to be congratulated as there was some pretty stiff competition. He has cooked for Leonard Cohen when the organisers of that famous gig asked that he bring his stall to the event. At the Electric Picnic he catered for 300 of the set-up staff every day for two weeks, then catered for the thousands who attended the festival.

I would recommend that you give him a call if you want party food with a difference for parties of 25 and upwards. He can even cater for your wedding, where he will partner with another more traditional chef to supply a really cool spread of food. He does not have a set number of menus, rather he has themes such as Spanish food, Mexican food, Indonesian food, and after you make your choice of theme he will produce dish after dish of delicious and authentic fare to mesmerise your guests. The ingredients are fresh where possible and sourced locally, they are also mostly organic and all meals are produced to order.

Another important piece of info to note is that he is not expensive.

So to the question of what is a basic falafel? The falafel is made by blending chick peas with garlic, coriander, parsley, and cumin. Then add a little flour, pepper, and salt to taste. Shape into little patties and deep fry until golden.

The patties are put into warm pitta bread and smothered in your favourite salads, mayonnaise, chilli sauce, yoghurt, mint, tahini, or whatever takes your fancy. It tastes a lot like eating a Turkish kebab without the meat and in my opinion much, much, tastier.

Start planning your Christmas party or autumn gathering of friends, give Flo a call on (087 ) 6453170 or visit his website on www.thegourmetoffensive.com It tastes great, its cool, it’s award winning and it’s affordable and your friends will love it.

PS – Check out www.winecourse.ie for a new take on how to learn about wine. It is a full day rather than five/six nights course. Classes will be in the Clayton Hotel on October 25. Tom Quinn is the brains behind this and is very knowledgeable and very entertaining.

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