The Parade of Nations and a falafel recipe.

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Yesterday was the annual Local Colors Festival in my hometown. It’s an annual festival that celebrates the diversity of the nationalities living here in the Roanoke Valley, of which there are over ninety. This spring festival boasts a parade of nations and a series of performances that last all day long. There are also a multitude of vendors selling wares and food that are representative of their countries.
I attended Local Colors for the parade – the sun and my allergies don’t allow for much more this time of year – and took photos of some of my favorite participants. You can see my album of parade photographs on my facebook fan page for Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen.
The featured country for the Local Colors Festival this year was Egypt. And coincidentally a popular dish from Local Colors is the Falafel, a hugely popular Middle Eastern dish sold by food vendors on the streets of Cairo. Falafel is served as a main dish in sandwiches or as an appetizer on salads with hummus and tahini. Following is an excellent Falafel recipe you can try from if you’re interested in making this dish yourself. To make this recipe truly authentic, omit the cilantro and substitute fava beans for the chickpeas.
  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 1/2 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4-6 tablespoons flour
  • Soybean or vegetable oil for frying
  • Chopped tomato for garnish
  • Diced onion for garnish
  • Diced green bell pepper for garnish
  • Tahina sauce
  • Pita bread
Click here to view the recipe preparation instructions along with additional information on the history of Falafel.
Have you ever tried Falafel? And what’s your favorite non-American dish?