A Swedish king is said to have returned to the country with the recipe in the early 18th century
An admission that Swedish meatballs actually originated in Turkey has prompted strong reactions from people in both countries.
It follows a 'confession' from Sweden's official Twitter account over the weekend about their most famous culinary export and IKEA mainstay.
Swedish meatballs are actually based on a recipe King Charles XII brought home from Turkey in the early 18th century. Let's stick to the facts! pic.twitter.com/JuTDEjq9MM— Sweden.se (@swedense) April 28, 2018
A brief response from the person in charge of the 'unofficial' Sweden account summed up the strong emotions of many to the revelation:
My whole life has been a lie https://t.co/tVcRmJx5By— @sweden / Örjan (@sweden) April 28, 2018
Unsurprisingly, the story received plenty of attention from Turkish media.
A researcher at the literature department of Uppsala University told Turkey's Anadolu Agency that it wasn't only meatballs King Charles XII returned to Sweden with following a stay in Istanbul (then part of the Ottoman empire) - suggesting coffee beans and stuffed cabbage were among the other imported delicacies.
Some social media users from Turkey thanked Sweden for highlighting the origins of the popular meatball dish:
Thank you for bringing the fact! Much love from Turkey 🇹🇷 🇸🇪 :)— Fatih The Observer (@ObserverTurkish) April 28, 2018
Turkish meatballs are called köfte, with variants of the dish found across the Middle East and parts of South and Central Asia.
The Swedish variant has gained widespread international popularity as one of the budget food offerings available in the restaurants in IKEA stores around the world.