Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Wacky Food Review of Bissli: Falafel Flavor

When I first started posting online reviews of wacky ethnic foods I've found about two years ago, I made it through a few. I still have leftover however, three bags of a food I purchased at a Middle Eastern market. These food products are about two years old, so they very well may affect the taste and quality. However, they are sealed, so I will attempt to review them just as I would with any other wacky food! The food is wacky enough already, and there is likely extreme mutation in the intended flavor of the food. With that in mind, I'll review here, Bissli: Falafel Flavor.

When you open the bag, the potent smell of onion and garlic attacks your nostrils. Now, I'm a fan of real falafel, which is delicious if prepared properly. If you actually go to a Mediterranean country, then you'd be able to get delicious, genuine falafel.

As you can see from the picture, the snack itself looks like what you might feed a pet, or line their cage with. However, I have to hand it to Osem, the Israeli company which also produces the extremely popular Bamba, they did seem to catch the flavor of falafel. What I bit into was a bit hard, but you could probably attribute that to eating a bag that is over two years old. It's a bit greasy too, and I generally don't care for palm oil.

If the visual experience contributes to consumption of food, the labeling on the product makes that aspect nearly indescribable. This is a "cholesterol free wheat party snack." What does that mean? The two cartoon characters are oddly recognizable, and hopelessly irrelevant, standing in meaningless poses. Maybe in Israel there was a matching ad campaign that I'm not aware of, because I know the Bamba baby is featured in ads.

As I nosh on this bag while I'm writing this review, pausing to wipe my hands of the grease so that I maintain the cleanliness of my keyboard, I'm finding that I probably won't be able to finish this bag. That's probably good for my health, because while it is free of cholesterol, it's not too skimpy on the saturated fat or sodium.

I'm not going to recommend this one too strongly. Normally onions and garlic can only add to a product, but if you're not ready for it, this violently grabs onto your taste buds and won't let go until you tell it, "Yes, yes, you taste like falafel! Any person who wouldn't immediately recognize the flavor you are trying to achieve is a backwards bumpkin!"

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