Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day 349- Falafel Fail And Sweet Panko

Last night I was lazy and hungry. What's new, right? So I went into mom's pantry and dug out a can of chickpeas. I didn't feel like hummus, so decided on falafel.

I don't actually *have* a recipe for falafel, of course. That would make things too easy. I've *read* recipes for falafel. I've even made it from boxed mix before. For some reason, though, my totally homemade falafel always turns out weird.

This time I had access to mom's spice cabinet, though, so it totally should have turned out great, right?

Anyway, I chopped up the world's tiniest onion and tossed it in mom's blender with a can of rinsed chickpeas, random spices, some water, a dash of lime juice, and some salt. I blended it as long as I could be bothered (I suspect this whole thing works better in a food processor, but I couldn't be bothered to dig mom's out...) then dumped it into a bowl.

I think this is about where things started to go really wrong. Not that they were going really right before this, this is just where everything got really bad.

You see, I added panko. Not *my* panko, which is in my car. Mom's panko. Who's ingredients I didn't read before dumping into my (savoury) chickpea mix.

So I dumped it it, mixed it up, and formed patties (the only part that went *right*) and fried the little monsters until they were browned on both sides. Which is not the same thing as done, just browned. I tossed them in the microwave to try and finish the "cooking" process, but who knows how well that worked...

I decided then, that the best sauce possible for this (jerk and cajun and turkish seasoning seasoned) falafel would be barbecue sauce. Which turned out to be freakishly sweet.

So at first, I just thought the falafel was sweet because of the barbecue sauce. It's not like I use a lot of it, or really use all that much sugar, either. And pre-made foods are kinda missing from my diet (chips and the odd frozen pizza excluded), so when I say it tasted sweet, I mean to me. Most of the sugar nomming american public would probably find it bland.

So I thought the falafel was sweet because of the sauce. Then I tried some of the falafel *without* the sauce. It was *still* sweet. Why was the falafel sweet?

The panko. Mom's panko. It has two or three different types of sweetener in it. It's freaking breadcrumbs, people, does it really need sugar???!!!

Did everything have sugar in it last year, before I stopped buying stuff already made? Is this a processed food thing? WTF is sugar doing in breadcrumbs? Breadcrumbs are powdered bread, isn't that close enough to sugar already?

To make sure it wasn't just a panko thing, I checked the "normal" breadcrumbs in mom's cabinet, too. Three or four different types of sugar there, including the ever popular HFCS.

Dude, no wonder Americans are fat and diabetic- there's sugar in *everything*. And it makes it all taste weird!

I have *no problem* with sugar in places sugar should go. Sugar in coffee or tea, fine. Cookies, cake, muffins, cupcakes? Fine. Sugar in chocolate? Yes, please. Sugar in oatmeal, on cream of wheat, or in jelly? Totally fine.

But not in tomato sauce or breadcrumbs or mac and cheese or burritos. That's just crazy. Trust me when I say putting sweet stuff in savoury stuff is bad. I once put a quiche in a sweet pie crust. It was bad. Sweet panko in falafel? Bad.

Sorry, I seem to have gone a bit ranty there. The falafel was a strange, sweet Fail. I covered it with mustard and finished it.

Now, time to torture the dog. He stuck his cold, wet noes in my face at about 3am. Now I get to clean his ears and trim the fur on his feet. Doggie torture is *so much fun*!


  1. My panko is wheat, flour, sugar, salt and yeast, and my regular breadcrumbs are wheat, soy and milk. I think its specifically whatever your mom bought.

  2. Probably. The normal breadcrumbs are (southern) grocery store generic, which probably has a lot to do with it. And the panko looks like it's a US specific brand.

    Cooking (mostly) from scratch seems to have done something to my tastebuds. Other than the (diet) soda and tea I really don't use sugar.... Probably turned me into a freak. Oh well, it happens.

  3. My regular breadcrumbs are generic midwest grocery store brand, and my panko is I don't know what not generic brand. I am actually surprised there isn't any sugar at all in my midwest breadcrumbs. We've got some serious obesity issues around here.

  4. You are right about the sugar. Ruby Tuesday's has a new cheese biscuit thing that seems to be a take-off on the Red Lobster ones except RT's are sugar-filled hockey pucks. I'm no fan of sugar in savory food. Ick! I buy my panko at the local asian store so don't think it has sugar init. Be nice to Bear and how about some pics of the little cutie?

  5. Kim- No idea then. Maybe mid-westerners don't like sweet stuff as much as southerners do? I know the sweet tea around here has enough sugar to give me headaches.

    Cyndee- Those don't sound good at all. Whenever I got a craving for those biscuits (the only thing at RL I ever really liked), I just pull out the bisquik and make cheesey garlic biscuits. I was nice to Bear for two days, took him for a long pull and everything. Clean ears are nice too, just not fun. Pics when I can get them.

  6. I'm right there with you on the sugar.