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Taxonomy: A Falafel in Every Pita

It’s always been a street-food staple, but never as ubiquitous and eclectic as it is now.

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In the 40 years since Mamoun’s started stuffing pita pockets on Macdougal Street, much has changed on the falafel front. The humble snack has become a politicized metaphor for appropriation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a bulwark of the cheap-eats vegetarian diet worldwide, and, most recently, a very loose framework for the culinary imaginations of some of New York’s most renowned chefs, whose inventive interpretations include the bacalao falafel Marcus Samuelsson served last week at his Global Street Food pop-up. With increased activity on both the low and high ends, New York is becoming a bona fide falafel town. Here, our classification of styles, from the fried to the baked to the raw.


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