Sunday, May 10, 2009

Shwarma and Felafel League

So, now we have travelled from Turkey to Sudan we can categorically state we are experts at identifying what makes good felafel and shwarma sandwiches. Here is the league table by nationality, of the best and worst on offer!

Shwarma (doner) kebab - usually chicken or lamb but in Turkey (and sometimes elsewhere) almost always beef.Served in a sandwich (bread, pitta or wrap) with chips, salads and sauces inside.

1. Syria - tasty wraps stuffed with meat and some salad, exceptional due to the added garlic mayo and the toasting of the shwarma AFTER it has been wrapped!
2. Sudan - bread roll instead of wrap which is not so good but nicely spiced meat and good mix of salad and sauces, and ketchup to add according to taste.
3. Lebanon - nice wrap and good amount of meat with fries and salad but unexceptional taste.
4. Jordan - standard amount of meat, salad and sauce, usually in a bread roll.
5. Turkey - good choice of bread, pitta or wrap but lack of salad and sauce, a bit too dry.
6. Egypt - small pitta, small amount of meat, dry and not much salad, hummus the only positive point.

Felafel - the deep-fried balls of mashed chick peas (broad beans in Egypt and Sudan) and spices. Normally in a sandwich with salads, sauces and chips.

1. Syria - No.1 again! Stuffed sanwiches with felafel, salad and sauce, often garlic mayo and or hummus/tahini. Outside there will be chili and mint leaves to add according to taste.
2. Lebanon - large sandwichs with a variety of extras including grilled cauliflower as well as the normal aubergine and chips. A lot more filling than, say, Jordan or Egypt.
3. Jordan - generally small with aubergine and chips but the big one in Aqaba was amazing, full of different salads and sauce as well as tasty felafel.
4. Sudan - nice crispy felafel but served by itself with pitta bread beside, the chili sauce in a bowl accompanying it is painfully hot!
5. Egypt - small sandwich, dry tasteless felafel, maybe some aubergine if you are lucky.
6. Turkey - No felafel

An extra note should be made in the case of the Lebanon where many other sandwiches are also offered including steak, liver, various meats in sauces, vegetable sandwiches (A mix of grilled cauliflower, chips, tomatoes and aubergine). Therefore what they lack in definitive felafel and Shwarma they gain in a variety of other sandwiches!

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