What’s the appeal of falafel?

Lisa and I were shopping a week or so ago, and were intrigued by a package of falafel we found.  We’d both heard of falafel, but had never tried it.  It sounded pretty good — so we bought some.

I have to say, this stuff is horrid.  We’ve tried it in various forms — plain, dipped in ranch, with salsa, cut up in a fish taco, and last night I gave it a shot with some feta cheese — then with feta and ranch.  Nothing doing.  The only way to make this stuff palatable seems to be to mask it’s flavor (reminiscent of wet cardboard and pencil shavings) with salsa, and lots of it.  Honestly, I’ll try anything a few times to try to get it right, but the remaining half of these little hockey pucks are probably going to become plant food.

I don’t know how hummus can be so good, and falafel so nasty. If you know of a way to make these things palatable, please let me know!