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更新时间:2017-9-9 11:29:49 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

In Land of Many Rivalries, New One Bubbles Up: Falafel vs. Falafel

BEIRUT, Lebanon —“Falafel Sahyoun” reads the awning of one storefront.

黎巴嫩贝鲁特——一个店面的凉蓬上写着:“萨约炸豆丸子店”(Falafel Sahyoun)。

“Falafel Sahyoun” reads the awning of the other.


They’re right next to each other. Only a wall separates the two.


And little sets them apart.


Both have bright tube lights, mirrors on the walls, falafel balls bubbling in oil. And on both counters sit stacks of bread, plus shiny steel bowls of radish, parsley and a sauce of pounded sesame, known as tarator.


The menus are even identical.


Regular sandwich.


Sandwich extra.


Falafel dozen.


Small tarator.


Large tarator.


Soft drinks.




But the rivalry runs deep. It is a rivalry as old as any in this part of the world: Brother against brother, falafel against falafel.


“My brother? I want him to stay away from me,” says Zuheir Sahyoun, the elder of the Falafel Sahyoun brothers, his chef’s shirt opened midway to his belly, on a steamy afternoon.

“我弟弟?我想让他滚远点,”萨约炸豆丸子店兄弟中的哥哥祖海尔·萨约(Zuheir Sahyoun)说。那是一个闷热的下午,他的厨师服敞开到肚子那儿。

“I don’t have a brother anymore,” says Fuad Sahyoun, the younger, next door.

“我没有哥哥了,”隔壁的弟弟福阿德·萨约(Fuad Sahyoun)说。

Once, there was only one Falafel Sahyoun. It was established by their father, Mustapha Sahyoun, on Damascus Street, just above downtown.

曾经,只有一家萨约炸丸子店。那是他们的父亲穆斯塔法·萨约(Mustapha Sahyoun)在市中心的大马士革街开设的。

Falafel was considered a working man’s lunch, and Falafel Sahyoun catered to everyone.


Mounjad al-Sharif was a child then. On school holidays, he and his friends would come for a falafel sandwich, see a movie at the Automatique, and if they had money left, ride the tram home.

当时,穆贾德·阿尔-沙里夫(Mounjad al-Sharif)还是个孩子。学校放假时,他和朋友们会来买炸丸子三明治,去Automatique看电影,兜里还剩钱的话,就坐有轨电车回家。

Beirut’s long, bitter civil war killed Falafel Sahyoun. The store shut down in 1978, when the fighting got bad, and this part of the city became the front line of a divided city, where rival militias installed their snipers.


The year the shop closed, Mustapha Sahyoun died. The tram line is long gone, and so too the Automatique.


Falafel Sahyoun reopened in 1992, after the war ended — only to split in two in 2006, when Fuad Sahyoun broke away. He refuses to explain why, saying only that it was for his own “peace of mind.”


Zuheir Sahyoun points to his brother’s wife. “Pillow murmuring,” Zuheir grumbles. “His woman.”


“My business hasn’t been affected,” Zuheir quickly adds. “I have the same clients. More.”


Zuheir’s shop bears a blue crown as its logo. Fuad’s has a yellow crown.


At lunchtime, people drive up to one or the other. They take away bags of sandwiches, or they scarf them down sitting behind their steering wheels.


Zuheir insists that his is the original shop, and that he uses his father’s original recipe. He keeps a photo of his father behind the cash register. “Tell your driver, ‘Sahyoun,’ and he’ll know exactly where to bring you,” he says.


Fuad dismisses the shop next door as “a fossil.”


He hangs a photo of the singer Bryan Adams, eating his falafel sandwich.

他挂了一张歌手布莱恩·亚当斯(Bryan Adams)吃他的炸豆丸子三明治的照片。

Across the street still stands an old office building, hollowed out by the war, its blown-out windows like mouths gaping at Falafel Sahyoun and Falafel Sahyoun.


Mr. Sharif, now a documentary filmmaker, still comes regularly, but only to Fuad’s shop. The falafels here are lighter and better for the stomach, he maintains, and worth an extra 500 Lebanese pounds.


That is one difference between the shops. Zuheir’s regular sandwich costs 3,000 Lebanese pounds, equivalent to $2. Fuad’s is 3,500 Lebanese pounds. Fuad’s regular sandwich also has four falafel balls, while Zuheir’s has three.


Would Mr. Sharif consider trying the other Falafel Sahyoun?


“No. Why to risk?” he asks. He wipes a bit of sauce from the side of his lips and offers a morsel of free advice.


“There are two things in life: When you want to eat — eat well,” he says. “When you want to enjoy — enjoy. Next week, I don’t know. I may be dead.”


Youmna El Zein, visiting from Senegal with her four children, chooses Zuheir’s shop. Her Lebanese cousins have told her to come to this Sahyoun, she says.

带着四个孩子从塞内加尔来这儿玩的尤姆娜·艾尔扎因(Youmna El Zein)选择了祖海尔的店铺。她说她的黎巴嫩亲戚让她来这家店。

Samir Simon is less fussy. It’s just falafel, he says. “This place, that place — it doesn’t matter to me,” he says. “I go to whichever one. I don’t know the difference. It’s the same thing.”

萨米尔·西蒙(Samir Simon)没那么挑剔。他说,只不过是炸豆丸子而已。“这家店,那家店——对我来说都一样,”他说。“我哪家店都去。我没看出有什么区别。一样的东西。”

The brothers have one thing in common. They are both fond of philosophizing.


“The most important thing in life is for the mind to be at peace,” Fuad muses. “If your mind’s not at peace, there’s no point to anything that you do.”


“Unity makes you stronger,” Zuheir says. When his brother first left, he used to wish they could get back together. “Now I’ve stopped wishing.”


Lately, the fight has taken a bit of a nasty turn.


Fuad has hung on his storefront an enlarged notice from the health department, penalizing Zuheir’s shop for a code violation. It has a red arrow pointing to Zuheir’s shop. “He plays dirty,” Zuheir says.


What would he do to avenge his brother’s move? Nothing, Zuheir says and points his index finger up, toward heaven. Then he takes a drag from his cigarette.