Saturday, December 12, 2009

This will make you hungry

Chief Rabbi Jacob Saul Dwek, Hakham Bashi of A...Image via Wikipedia

souq, aleppo syria, easter 2004Image by seier+seier+seier via Flickr

With the opening of Aleppo Restaurant at Main and Thomas streets in Paterson, I have  more opportunity than ever to get in touch with my culinary roots. My parents were Sephardic Jews born in the northern Syrian city --  he the son of a pastry maker and she a rabbi's daughter who would go on to self-publish the first cookbook in Brooklyn's Syrian Jewish community.

Now, I have come across a food blog called "Syrian Foodie in London," lovingly written by a doctor, and this video of a falafel stand in Aleppo. If this doesn't make you hungry, I don't know what will. The metal bowls you'll see are filled with sprigs of mint, a nice accent for the yogurt sauce you can have on your falafel. I visited my parents' birthplace briefly in the late 1970s and ate lots of terrific food, but didn't get a chance to try the falafel.

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  1. Hi Victor

    Thank ytou very much for this post and the link.

    Like yourself I was so impressed with this falafel shop. Actually one of my fellow Syrian bloggers managed to identify the area of Aleppo where the shop is, around Bab Al-Faraj.

    On my next visit to Syria I am planning a few days in Aleppo. I will try to find this shop and write an update on my blog.

  2. Hi Kano:

    I remember Bab Al-Faraj, the clock tower in the old part of the city, from my visit to Aleppo. In fact, my parents used to refer to it all the time. I also recall eating in a restaurant near the tower where the cooks used long, very sharp knives to chop meat for salagan, the kebabs. I look forward to your update on the falafel place. One thing I'm curious about is whether the falafel is made with fava beans or chickpeas.

  3. In Syria, falafel is always made with chickpeas, never with foul.

    Fava bean is used in Egyeptian falafel. Some places in Lebanon use a mixture of the two.

  4. Thanks, Kano. There's an Egyptian place near me and I'll be trying his falafel. I remember it well from my visit to Egypt many years ago.


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