'My whole life has been a lie': Sweden admits meatballs are Turkish
Sweden 'My whole life has been a lie': Sweden admits meatballs are Turkish
Turks donât mince their words as they relish news that Ikeaâs famous dish is not Swedish
Turks have reacted with undisguised glee to what many have described as an official â" and certainly long overdue â" confession from Stockholm that Swedenâs signature national dish is, in fact, Turkish.
âThose famous Swedish meatballs you get in Ikea are actually Turkish, admits Swedish governm ent,â tweeted TRT World, Turkeyâs publicly funded international television news channel.
âSwedish meatballs originally Turkish dish: Swedish government,â said the headline in HÃ¼rriyet Daily News, after Swedenâs official national Twitter account, @swedense, came clean last weekend.
âSwedish meatballs are actually based on a recipe King Charles XII brought home from Turkey in the early 18th century,â the Swedish account revealed abruptly and for no immediately apparent reason. âLetâs stick to the facts!âJamie Oliver's Swedish meatballs recipe Read more
Turkeyâs Anadolu agency seized the chance to speak to Annie Mattsson, of the literature department at Uppsala University, who confirmed that after losing a key battle against Russia in 1709, Charles and the remnants of his army took refuge in what is now Moldova, then part of the Ottoman empire.
Once known as âthe Lion of the Northâ and âSwedish Meteorâ fo r his early military prowess, Charles, who acceded to the throne in 1697 at the age of 15, had bitten off rather more than he could chew by taking on Russia, and spent the following six years in exile in and around present-day Turkey.
Having acquired a taste for the local cuisine, he returned to Sweden in 1714 with the recipe not just for kÃ¶fte, the spiced lamb and beef meatballs that in time became the Swedish staple koÌttbullar, but also forthe popular stuffed cabbage dish now known in Sweden as kÃ¥ldolmar.
Charles, who died in 1718 when he was shot in the head while attacking Danish-occupied Norway, is also considered responsible for importing and popularising the Turkish habit of drinking coffee, which became so widespread in Sweden in the later 18th century that King Gustav III briefly banned it.
In Turkeyâs meatball capital, InegÃ¶l, this week, a local chef, Ä°brahim Veysel, told the DoÄan news agency it was an honour that t he Turkish dish should have become âan example to different cuisines all over the worldâ.
Others were less happy. Serdar Ãam, president of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, complained that Ikea, which sells 2m meatballs a day in its in-store restaurants, should not be selling the dish as though it were Swedish.
Ãrjan, the forlorn â" though presumably tongue-in-cheek â" Swede currently curating the countryâs @sweden tourism account, rotated every week, lamented that the news had robbed life of its meaning. âMy whole life has been a lie,â he tweeted.Topics
- Food & drink
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