Falafel emoji on its way to your phone

A new slate of 230 emojis will begin appearing on phones later this year

February 6, 2019 10:43
1 minute read.
Falafel emoji

Falafel emoji . (photo credit: EMOJIPEDIA)


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The Unicode Consortium has approved a slate of 230 new emojis for 2019, including one for the popular Israeli street food falafel.

Beginning next month, the falafel emoji will begin appearing on a variety of platforms, including most social media outlets. It will likely take several months – or even a year – before the emoji becomes widely available across most phone systems and interfaces.

The Unicode Consortium provided a mockup of the falafel emoji for companies to use as a basis for the image. It features one somewhat misshapen fried ball, and a second sliced open to reveal a light green center.

The proposal for the falafel emoji was submitted in April 2018 by Ben Klemens, who noted that the food is “popular in the Middle East and North Africa” as well as being “vegan and vegetarian, halal and kosher.”

Klemens also noted that “falafel would be the first [vegan, halal and kosher] Middle Eastern food represented in emoji.”

The falafel emoji will be joined by dozens of other new approved images, including onion and garlic, a boon to many Ashkenazi cooks, as well as butter, an oyster, a waffle and an ice cube. New non-food emojis include a yawning face, an ear with a hearing aid, a mechanical arm and leg, people in wheelchairs, a guide dog, ballet shoes, a stethoscope and a kite.

It remains to be seen just how Apple, Samsung and other platforms will choose to render the falafel emoji for their customers. After the great bagel emoji controversy of 2018, they know that hungry emoji users will be watching – and judging.

While we won’t get into arguments of food origins here, suffice it to say that many Israelis will be happy to see a falafel emoji gracing their keyboards later this year.

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