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Its A Funny World

  Home > Its A Funny World

IKEA Causes Chaos By Revealing Its Swedish Meatballs Aren't Actually Swedish

Ikea's famous Swedish meatballs (Image: AFP | Getty Images)


 May 20th, 2022  |  14:58 PM  |   799 views



Ikea is one of Sweden’s most famous exports and anyone who’s been to their furniture stores will tell you that their iconic meatballs are not to be missed.


About one billion meatballs are sold by the retailer each year and they play a huge role in the brand’s identity, with hungry shoppers just as keen to get their hands on this tasty dish as they are on flatpack furniture.


The meatballs, served with mash, a light gravy and lingonberry jam, appear to be quintessentially Swedish - but this isn’t actually the case.


In 2018 Sweden’s official Twitter account caused chaos when it revealed that the meatballs didn’t actually originate from Sweden. Instead they had been imported from what is now modern-day Turkey.


Meatballs have long been eaten in Turkey, where they are known as 'köfte’, although they are flatter than the Swedish version and are usually served alongside pide, a special type or Turkish bread, pickles, salad and hummus.


The dish was introduced to Sweden by King Charles XII who used food to develop relations with the Ottoman Empire.


He was exiled to a location near Moldova in the early 1700s after losing a war with Russia.


When he returned, he brought meatballs, coffee, and stuffed cabbages, each a speciality from Istanbul (then known as Constantinople).


Fans of the meatballs were torn by the revelation, with some saying that their whole life “has been a lie” while others accepted that a lot of dishes throughout the world are a fusion of different cuisines.


Over the years the furniture giant has launched new versions of the meatballs, including a veggie version, which they claim are 100 per cent Swedish and were the brainchild of their chef Alex Magnusson.


Ikea’s meatballs have continued to remain popular, and during the pandemic the retailer even released a recipe for them so people could make their own at home, to the delight of fans.


The Mirror has contacted Ikea about the history of their meatballs and where the ones served in the UK are made today.



courtesy of MIRROR

by Liv Clarke


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