Meatballs are slightly crispy on the outside, juicy, tender, and meaty on the inside, and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Very popular all over the world. Each country will add different ingredients and seasonings according to its own culture and taste to make it unique. It is very versatile, easy to share, and easier to store and reheat, so it is loved by many people and has become a popular product in the market and is in high demand.
Meatballs are thought to have originated in ancient Persia. The earliest recorded meatball dish, known as kofta, is made by rolling leftover minced lamb into orange-sized balls and coated with egg yolk and sometimes saffron for a delicious taste. Almost every major culture has its own version of meatballs: Spanish albondigas, Dutch bitterballen, Chinese lionheads, South African skilpedjies. Kofte is also found everywhere from India to Morocco. It can even be enjoyed casually with almost any other food and drink. You can see why this dish quickly became popular in other parts of the ancient world.
Of all the meatballs in the world, we would like to introduce you to four of our favorites:
1. Italian meatballs – polpette
In Italy, we mostly associate meatballs with Italian cuisine. We shredded and tossed meatballs on pizza, ordered towering spaghetti with squash-sized meatballs, and sandwiched sandwich rolls with juicy meatballs, tomato sauce, and lots of sticky, melty Mozzarella cheese for epic meatballs.
Italian meatballs, or polpette, also typically made of ground beef and pork mixed with breadcrumbs, garlic, eggs, and Roman cheese, and eaten as a meal (plain) or soup, occupy a central place in Italian home cooking.
2. Swedish Meatballs – köttbullar
Usually made with ground beef and ground pork, or ground beef alone, mixed with beaten eggs, breadcrumbs soaked in milk, and grated raw or chopped and fried onions. More luxurious versions often have cream added. They are small, about 2-4 cm in diameter. In Eastern Europe, meatballs are a great meal in themselves. It can also be served with egg noodles or steamed cabbage.
3. Turkey Meatballs – köfte
Meatballs in Turkey are usually made from ground lamb or ground beef and lamb. The variants are mostly named after their traditional cities; for example İnegöl köfte, İzmir köfte, Akçaabat köfte and Tire köfte. Some other popular ones are şiş köfte, kadınbudu köfte and sulu köfte. There is also a variation called Çiğ köfte, which can be vegetarian.
4. Middle Eastern and South Asian Meatballs – kibbeh
Kibbeh, also known as kibe, kibbe or kubba, is one of the most popular meatballs in the Middle East. Kibbeh is usually made with bulgur mixed with ground beef or lamb, then stuffed with spiced minced meat and pine nuts. After each meatball is formed into a bite-sized “football” shape, it’s fried or baked to a golden, crispy texture. Kibbeh is considered the national dish of Syria and is popular in countries such as Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan.it’s spelled “Quibe” in Brazil.Israelis like to make slightly smaller, flat meatballs and simmer them in tomato sauce or broth before serving.