Ikea's Swedish meatballs? Totally NOT Swedish

Here's a fact you can kill with alcohol or a head injury and never miss: Ikea doles out around 2 million of its Swedish meatballs, per day. Here's another: those Swedish meatballs? There's a very good chance that they're not actually Swedish.

According to the Hürriet Daily News, the recipe for Swedish meatballs is actually based on a recipe from Turkey. In a tweet that shook the meat-in-ball-form world, the Swedish government declared that “Swedish meatballs are actually based on a recipe King Charles XII brought home from Turkey in the early 18th century. Let’s stick to the facts!"

From the Hürriet Daily News:

Annie Mattson, a researcher at the literature department of Uppsala University, told Anadoly Agency that Sweden’s King Charles XII lost a battle against Russia and took shelter in Bender, then an Ottoman territory near Moldova.

Having spent a long time in Bender, apparently on a local food bender, Charles XII couldn't bear to leave behind the local cuisine. When he finally headed on home, he came packing the recipes for cabbage rolls, meatballs and, god love him, introduced Turkey's national love for strong, hot coffee to the Swedish people.

Earlier today, The Guardian got their meat hooks on this story and added to it. Apparently, feelings on the revelation, in Turkey are mixed.

This week in Turkey’s meatball capital, Inegöl, a local chef, İbrahim Veysel, told the Dogan news agency it was an honor that the Turkish dish should have become “an example to different cuisines all over the world”.

Others were less happy. Serdar Çam, president of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, complained that Ikea, which sells 2m meatballs a day in its in-store restaurants should not be selling the dish as though it were Swedish.

I just don't know what to believe in anymore.

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