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  • When you think of Sweden, what comes to mind?

  • Ikea? Abba?

  • Maybe those delicious cinnamon rolls?

  • But what about these?

  • Swedish meatballs.

  • Right?

  • Well, maybe not.

  • Welcome to the meatball mystery.

  • Let's cut straight to the chase.

  • It's hard to make the Swedes angry, but on one fateful day, something happened that fired up the whole country.

  • This tweet was sent from the official Sweden Twitter account:

  • "Swedish meatballs actually based on a recipe from King Charles XII brought back from Turkey in the early 18th century. Let's stick to the facts."

  • Yikes.

  • Did you catch that?

  • The tweet said that Swedish meatballs actually come from Turkey.

  • As you can imagine, the tweet went viral.

  • Swedes were up in arms.

  • It was picked up all around the world.

  • The Swedish government has admitted Swedish meatballs are actually Turkish.

  • What? What?

  • No, that's not a fact.

  • The fact is really interesting.

  • Since we don't have any facts from that period.

  • Wait, who are you?

  • My name is Richard Tellström, and I'm a food historian.

  • OK, here's what we know.

  • In the 1700s, Swedish King Charles XII lost a battle in the Great Northern War.

  • He was forced to flee to the where for several years he negotiated his return.

  • The controversial tweets suggested that he brought back a local Turkish meat dish called 'koftas.'

  • However, there is no documented interests from him in food; no mentioning of the meatballs there.

  • They are not Turkish because we can't follow the original meatballs in the world.

  • There is no zero meatball where everything started.

  • Most likely, origin of the meatball is a development in parallel ways, in parallel food cultures.

  • Therefore, meatballs are very different all over the world, but they exist all over the world.

  • Today, it's one of Sweden's most popular dishes.

  • Traditionally served with mashed potatoes, a brown gravy, and a sweet lingonberry sauce.

  • Mh-mm.

  • Food gives us an example of how we are connected when it comes to culture.

  • Food is a sort of cultural network.

  • So take pride in your meatballs, Sweden, and so should Turkey, China, Italy, and every meatball-rolling country.

  • Because if there's one thing the world can agree on, it's that meatballs are delicious.

When you think of Sweden, what comes to mind?

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C1 US GreatBigStory swedish meatball sweden turkish turkey

Are Swedish Meatballs Even Swedish?

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    Jessieeee posted on 2021/10/02
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