The Adventure of the Expired Falafel Mix

I like falafels, and a couple of times in the past I’ve made them at home from a mix.

So at some point in the distant past I acquired another box of falafel mix, with the intention of making falafels. But then I didn’t get around to making them.

And of course as time went on, the likelihood that the mix was too old to be good increased, which made me less likely to make them. But I hate throwing out food, so I just left the box on the shelf.

But I recently bought pita and hummus for the first time in a while, and the falafel-mix box was just sitting there, and I now have convection-oven capabilities so I can get something resembling frying without dealing with oil and a frying pan. So last night I decided to go ahead and try the mix.

(I was pleased to see that the only added ingredient I needed was water, so if the mix turned out to have gone bad, I wouldn’t be wasting any additional food/ingredients.)

Turned out to be really easy to prepare. Following the instructions, I poured the mix into a bowl, added water, let it sit for 10 minutes, preheated the toaster oven, and then formed little patties and put them on a baking sheet. (In the past, I think I’ve tried to form round balls and immerse them in hot oil, which I recall being significantly messier.)

They finished cooking, and I took a bite of one—

—and it was terrible. It had very definitely gone bad.

So I had something else for dinner, and I’m composting the mix.

A relatively painless experiment, and now I have one less box of expired food in my cupboard.

Next up: a box of latke mix that expired in early 2017.

(The falafel-mix box has a “best before” date stamped onto it, but that date says “0V1501A,” which reads to me more like a starship serial number than an expiration date.

But I suspect it means that the mix was intended to be used before January 2015.)

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