Meatballs anyone? Most men and women love em!
It is the traditional start to the Sunday dinner in most Italian families, served hot with fresh mozzarella cheese, crispy Italian bread and fried hot green peppers (the long ones). Whether they are fresh from the pot, or just gracing a heap of spaghetti, nothing beats a meatball.
Here is an amazing fact about creating meatballs: Give ten individuals the exact same basic recipe and every batch will turn out otherwise. Go figure…
Nobody really knows the true origin of this meatball but in an 2003 article entitled”Ask the Chef” John Piso explains it this way:
“Meatballs originated in a Italian’s kitchen when she discovered that she had some ground beef . Hamburger meat was popularized in the turn of the last century, so it is sensible to suppose that meatballs started afterward, as did meat loaf. I could just find some nice Italian housewife prepared to make a tomato sauce and find some leftover ground meat in her ice-a -box-a. Consistently having eggs, parsley, garlic, cheese, and bread round, she must have felt a surge of lightning that struck her with this thought. Ground beef, garlic, cheese, breadcrumbs, parsley, and some beaten egg to hold it all together. Two courses in 1 pot – pure genius!”
The answer: Meatballs are not always round. In Italy the meatball is known as polpette and they’re oval. Polpette are also frequently served from tomato sauce.
In fact, if meatballs were flat, they would be burgers and they would break in tomato sauce. Hand size can be a variable. Big hand, large meatball, little hand, little meatball.
Except for size and shape (there is usually more than 1 meatball per serving), meatballs are extremely much like meatloaf.”
A meatball is simply similar to a meatloaf due to the ingredients that cement it togther. The meatloaf is a classic American dish, made in a loaf form, occasionally stuffed, sliced and covered in brown gravy. A meatball is the stuff that dreams are made of because there is a nostagia factor attached to itMany remember sleeping in on Sunday morning and stirring into the most delicious smell and noise on earth – meatballs sizzling in a skillet. It’s always so tough to resist catching one. Can not get that impression from a meatloaf!
The solution is Yes, because one ingredient stays constant: Ground meat. The ancient Roman cook-book writer Apicius contained many meat ball-type recipes:
O Danish meatballs are referred to as frikadeller and are generally fried, and they’re usually made out of pork.
O In Germany, meatballs are called Frikadellen (from the North) or Buletten (in the East) or Fleischpflanzerl or Fleischkuumlchle if you happen to be in the South
O In Greece, meatballs are known as’keftedes’ and generally include within the mixture onions and mint leaf.
Outside of Italy, they are generally served with spaghetti as in”spaghetti and meatballs”.
O The Japanese hamburger beef hanbagu relies on similar ingredients.
O In Norway, meatballs are called kjoslashttkaker (“meat cakes”) and resemble Danish frikadeller, but they’re usually made from ground beef. The dish is traditionally served with boiled potatoes, gravy, lingonberry jam or stewed green peas. Some folks also like to include fried/caramelized onion on the side.
O Swedish (Swedish meatballs) are made with ground beef or a mixture of ground beef and pork, mixed with breadcrumbs soaked in milk and finely chopped onions. They’re seasoned with white pepper and salt. (From the television series Babylon 5 all alien races have swedish meatballs, although with different titles )
O Turkish cuisine comprises more than 80 kinds of meatballs (koumlfte), most being made.
The meatball is so well loved that we sing about it. Take a look at the American classic “On top of Austin Wildlife Removal” by Tom Glazer which comes with a wayward meatball. For decades he had a chorus of children singing lines such as:
It rolled off the table, it rolled on the ground,
And then my poor meatball rolled out of the doorway.
And early next summer it grew to a tree.
The tree was all covered with beautiful moss.
It grew great big meatballs and tomato sauce.
So if you eat spaghetti all covered with cheese,
Hold on to your meatball and do not ever sneeze.
1 final thing… It is not very nice to call someone a”Meatball”. The American Heritage; Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition defines calling somebody a meatball exactly the like calling them dull or dumb. So in the event that you need to use mention of food on your name-calling endeavors, I would advise you to call’em a”Meatloaf!”