SWEDEN (CBS Local) – Sweden has made a stunning confession about one of the European nation’s signature recipes: Swedish meatballs are actually a Turkish dish.
In a tweet from the country’s official account, Swedish officials announced that the famous meatball recipe was brought to the country 300 years ago by King Charles XII. Charles XII spent five years in Turkey during the Great Northern War between Sweden and Russia in the early 1700s.
The April 28 tweet reportedly came without warning and it’s not known why Sweden suddenly decided to set the record straight on the savory dish. “Let’s stick to the facts!” the country’s stunning confession proclaimed.
News of the meatball’s true heritage even made its way into the headlines of Turkey’s oldest English-language newspaper, the Hürriyet Daily News, on April 30. Annie Mattson, a researcher at Sweden’s Uppsala University, told reporters that Charles XII also brought coffee beans and stuffed cabbage back from his time in Russia.
The Swedish (and now Turkish) delicacy has become a national symbol for Swedes over the centuries. Furniture company Ikea reportedly sells over two million meatballs in its in-store restaurants every day. Swedish officials added in a May 2 tweet that the addition of locally-grown lingonberries to the recipe still makes the famous dish a uniquely Swedish treat.