If you’ve ever tasted Swedish meatballs (renownedly known for being sold at Ikea), you know they’re a delicacy of sorts. But, as it turns out, what we all thought was a Swedish delight is actually a Turkish treat.
Recently, Sweden’s official Twitter account confessed a mind boggling food revelation in under 280 characters.
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
According to Time (and history books), the early 1700s was host to the Great Northern War, when Russia challenged Sweden to battle. During that time the reigning king, King Charles XII, was forced to live in Turkey in the Ottoman Empire (near Bender Moldova) for five years. When the dust of losing the war settled, King Charles returned to Sweden with the intention of using food to unite the nation with Turkey, which is why he brought the Turkish meatball recipe back with him.
Reactions to the official confirmation have varied. While some people are thankful for the truth…
Thank you for bringing the fact! Much love from Turkey 🇹🇷 🇸🇪 🙂
— Fatih The Observer (@ObserverTurkish) April 28, 2018
…others are now questioning their very existence.
My whole life has been a lie https://t.co/tVcRmJx5By
— @sweden / Örjan (@sweden) April 28, 2018
Put out by Sweden’s Twitter confession, Serdar Cam, President of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), responded by criticizing Ikea’s monetary gain on what we now know as Turkish meatballs.
A Twitter user and a variety of Turkish media outlets have even responded by alleging that meatballs aren’t the only thing the King took back with him from Turkey––he took coffee and cabbage rolls with him as well!
Also roasted coffee and cabbage rolls (kåldolmar) was brought to Sweden from Turkey by King Charles XII 😀
— NerudaGungoren (@NerudaGungoren) April 30, 2018
“Mind you,” Sweden’s official Twitter account replied, somewhat confirming the allegations, “we love coffee even more than meatballs! At one point we even had a coffee prohibition in Sweden!”
The mixed responses have sparked many conversations questioning history and what should actually be considered as a Swedish invention. One thing is clear though, there is a difference between how Turkey and Sweden serve their meatballs. While Turkey uses a combination of ground beef, ground lamb, onions, eggs, bread crumbs and parsley, Sweden’s meatballs are predominately made from beef, topped off with gravy and served with lingonberry jam.
Now that the news is out in the open, we guess King Charles’ plan of linking the two countries by food has finally worked — it only took Sweden a few hundred years to admit it.