It’s Sex Week, yet one of this school’s biggest love interests has somehow gone undiscussed: its falafel fetish. Monday night I walked into the dining hall and was not surprised to find the staff serving those tiny balls of chickpea and fava bean; in fact, I would have been surprised if they weren’t. Yale dining seems to have a thing for this Middle Eastern street food — a full-fledged falafel fever, actually.
Now, I’m not complaining about the falafel’s taste (bad) or its resemblance to something a cat might cough up, but rather the frequency with which it appears on the menu. At this point, Yale dining might as well install a falafel bar to accompany the salad and sandwich ones; Israel’s version of the French fry is becoming practically ubiquitous. Even the falafephiles must be getting sick of the chickpea, fava bean monotony.
I just don’t understand: why the obsession? Does the student population have some unknown legume deficiency? Is there a quota of how many pounds of tahini dressing must be consumed per week? Is there some backdoor discount on Middle-Eastern foodstuffs that I’m unaware of? Because, in that case, where’s my chicken shwarma or lamb kabob? Where the hell is my halva?!
I understand that falafels provide an option for the no-meat, no-dairy, no-delicious consumers who already make us eat tofu crumbles in our tacos. And, like any Yalie without a death wish, I’m all for assuaging the protein-deficient masses; but, really, there has to be some other option besides falafel (or tofu/gluten-free/cardboard ravioli, for that matter).
I’m also aware of the dining hall’s efforts to broaden our cultural palettes. It’s commendable they’re attempting to make us more ethnically conscious, introducing us to new cuisines and whatnot. I’ll be the first to admit that Yale dining took my falafel virginity, but they’ve since turned me into a falafel whore. There’s a difference between providing us with cultural cuisine and literally forcing it down our throats.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not arguing for falafel’s total extinction, but rather for the dining hall to introduce a little more variety into the ethnic options. In a school that endlessly exults “diversity” in the student body, is it wrong to expect the same for our menus?