Swedish meatballs actually Turkish? Swedish meatballs have long been associated with the obvious host country in their namesake, but Sweden shocked social media users and foodies alike this weekend by claiming they’re from Turkey.
Sweden’s official Twitter account @swedense issued the following meatball bombshell this weekend: “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!” In addition to the culinary history lesson, many responders on Twitter began fearing that the Scandinavian chain IKEA may stop serving the dish at stores.
The Anadoly Agency and other Turkish news outlets immediately lauded the announcement as a “confession,” noting that King Charles XII of Sweden also brought stuffed cabbage (kåldolmar) and roasted coffee back from Istanbul in the 18th century. Charles reigned from 1697 to 1718 and took refuge in Bender near Moldova in 1713 after losing a military battle against the Russians. Then-Ottoman Sultan Ahmet III purchased several Swedish women and children in custody of the Russians, which prompted good relations between the two countries’ leaders, Annie Mattson of Sweden’s Uppsala University told BBC News Tuesday.