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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the foodstuff known as a Meatball.
A meatball is a generally spherical mass of ground meat and other ingredients, such as bread or breadcrumbs, minced onion, various spices, and possibly eggs, cooked by frying, baking, steaming, or braising in sauce.
Other foods are formed into balls, such as fishballs and quenelles (based on fish) and dumplings (dough only).
There are many kinds of meatball recipes using different kinds of meats and spices. While some meatballs are mostly made of meat and ingredients to cement the ball, others may include other ingredients. How one makes one's meatballs depends as much on one's cultural background as on one's individual taste. There are even "meatless" meatballs to satisfy vegetarian palates.
From the Balkans to India, there is a large variety of meatballs in the kofta family.
The ancient Roman cookbook author Apicius included many meatball-type recipes.
The meatball in various countries
In Afghanistan Meatballs are used as a traditional dish with homemade soups and now meatballs are grilled on top of pizza like the so called Afghan pizza popular in Afghanistan.
Albanian fried meatballs (Qofte të fërguara) include feta cheese.
In Brazil, meatballs are called 'almôndegas' and are usually fried and served with spaghetti.
Chinese meatballs are made of pork and are usually steamed or boiled, either as-is, or with the addition of soy sauce. These can range in size from about 5 cm in diameter to about 10 cm. The plain steamed meatballs are also called Lion's heads. Smaller varieties are used in soups.
Danish meatballs are known as frikadeller and are typically fried, and they are usually made from pork. Also, Swedish köttbullar is widely popular.
In Finland meatballs (lihapullat) are made with ground beef or a mix of ground beef and pork, mixed with breadcrumbs soaked in milk and finely chopped onions. They are seasoned with white pepper and salt. Meatballs are traditionally served with gravy, boiled potatoes, lingonberry jam, and sometimes fresh pickled cucumber.
In Germany, meatballs are called Frikadellen (in the North) or Buletten (in the East) or Fleischpflanzerl or Fleischküchle if you happen to be in the South. A general term for meatballs is Hackbällchen.
In Austria, fried meatballs are called Fleischlaberl.
In Greece, fried meatballs are called 'keftedes' and usually include within the mix onions and mint leaf. Stewed meatballs are called 'yuvarlakia'.
In Bulgaria, meatballs are called 'kyufte' and are usually made of a mixture of beef and pork with breadcrumbs and sliced onions. Many other variations exist including different kinds of meat and chopped vegetables.
In Indonesia, meatballs are called 'bakso' which are usually served in a bowl, like soup, with noodles, beancurds (tofu), eggs, 'siomay', and/or fried meat.
In Italy, meatballs are known as polpette and are generally eaten as a main course or in a soup.
The Japanese hamburger steak hanbāgu is based on similar ingredients.
In Norway, meatballs are called kjøttkaker ("meat cakes") and resemble Danish frikadeller, but they are usually made from ground beef. This dish is traditionally served with boiled potatoes, gravy, lingonberry jam and/or stewed green peas. Some people also like to add fried/caramelized onion on the side. Like in Denmark, Swedish köttbullar (meatballs) are widely popular.
The "chiftele" and "pârjoale" from Romania are usually deep fried and made with pork or poultry, moistened bread and garlic. "Chiftele" are smaller and with more meat. A crude, plain meat variant is used for sour soup, making "ciorbă de perişoare".
In Spain and Mexico, meatballs are called 'albóndigas,' derived from the Arabic 'al-bunduq' (meaning 'hazelnut,' or, by extension, a small round object). Albóndigas are thought to have originated as a Berber or Arab dish imported to Spain during the period of Muslim rule. Spanish albóndigas can be served as an appetizer or main course, often in a tomato sauce, while Mexican albóndigas are commonly served in a soup with a light broth and vegetables.
Swedish köttbullar (Swedish meatballs) are made with ground beef or a mix of ground beef and pork, mixed with breadcrumbs soaked in milk and finely chopped onions. They are seasoned with white pepper or allspice and salt. Swedish meatballs are traditionally served with gravy, boiled potatoes, lingonberry jam, and sometimes fresh pickled cucumber. Swedish meatballs are served at the cafeteria at most IKEA locations around the world.
In The Netherlands, a meatball goes by the name 'gehaktbal' ("chopped (referring to the meat) ball") and is often served with boiled potatoes and vegetables. This combination has been the most common dish in Dutch households throughout history.
Turkish cuisine features more than 80 types of meatballs (köfte), most being regionally made. In addition, Turkish-style meatballs are made throughout Middle Eastern cooking, often with a localized form of the Turkish name attached.
In the United Kingdom, faggots are a type of meatball.
In the United States, meatballs are commonly served with spaghetti as in "spaghetti and meatballs", a fundamental dish in Italian American cuisine. In American practice, they are usually made much larger than in Italy.