The Straits Times/Asia News Network
The meatballs, made popular worldwide by Scandinavian furniture store Ikea, have been revealed to originate from another country. (Shutterstock/Savvapanf Photo)
Fans of Swedish meatballs, you might want to sit down for this.
The meatballs, made popular worldwide by Scandinavian furniture store IKEA, have been revealed to originate from another country.
A tweet by Sweden's official Twitter account last Saturday (April 28) said the meatballs are based on a recipe from Turkey.
"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!" it read.
King Charles reigned Sweden from 1697 to 1718, and is believed to have lived in the Bender city of Moldova, which was part of the Ottoman Empire.
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! pic.twitter.com/JuTDEjq9MM— Sweden.se (@swedense) April 28, 2018
In traditional Turkish cuisine, the meatballs are known as kofte, and vary in shapes, sizes and taste, as it can be made of any type of ground meat, according to the Turkish Cultural Foundation. Some variations of kofte are also vegetarian, and are made from lentil or potato.
On the other hand, the Swedish variation sold at Ikea is made with ground beef and pork, and includes a gravy made from beef stock. It is also served with boiled potatoes and lingonberry jam, which is made from a type of berry found in abundance in Sweden.
The tweet sparked positive responses from some Turkish users, who applauded its "honesty".
I'm a Turkish man and I love Swedish meatballs ❤️. Thanks for your honesty. ⚖️🇹🇷— Damdanakan (@rmstnvct) April 28, 2018
One Turkish Twitter user also said in jest: "If it were up to me, I would say you could keep that as yours dear Vikings."
Others added on to the list of things that was "imported" into Sweden from Turkey, citing roasted coffee and cabbage rolls as additional examples.
In response, Sweden said: "Mind you we love coffee even more than meatballs! At one point we even had a coffee prohibition in Sweden!"
Also roasted coffee and cabbage rolls (kåldolmar) was brought to Sweden from Turkey by King Charles XII 😀— NerudaGungoren (@NerudaGungoren) April 30, 2018
However, not everyone was happy about the revelation.
President of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, Mr Serdar Cam, criticized Ikea for selling the meatballs.
"By selling these meatballs as Swedish meatballs for years in their chain furniture store, they are also saying forget the furniture, I can even sell your meatballs as if they are mine, through my marketing and distribution organisation," he tweeted, according to a translation by the BBC.
One Twitter user also added: "I hope your furniture store's café is going to update the little flags they stick in the dish."
I hope your furniture store's café is going to update the little flags they stick in the dish pic.twitter.com/E6Qccr15Bz— Tom (@Tom8251) May 1, 2018
The news, however, probably had the most impact on some Swedish, with one tweeting: "My whole life has been a lie."
My whole life has been a lie https://t.co/tVcRmJx5By— @sweden / Örjan (@sweden) April 28, 2018