In her biweekly column, A Shared Tradition, CIA grad and amateur food historian Molly Siegler cruises around the world (and into the depths of her pantry) to explore the versatility of a single food item.
This week: Molly corrals meatball recipes from around the globe.
Kefta-Style Meatballs with Grilled Grapes and Yogurt Sauce (photo by Melanie Einzig)
During the most recent season of Top Chef, head judge Tom Colicchio reasoned with one contestant that her food was up against more interesting and exciting options, and the cheftestant sarcastically interjected, "Like a meatball?" Though I giggled at the time (Tom was chastised!), I have to admit I’m completely on Tom’s side.
Meatballs are surprisingly exciting, as is evidenced by an ultra-cool mini restaurant chain in New York City, which everyone is lining up to try. Nearly every country in the world offers some meatball interpretation, and their sizes, stuffings, and accompaniments vary from region to region, cook to cook. What spherically shaped savories have you come to love?
Versions of this soft and fragrant meatball can be found all around Scandinavia.
Keftedes are often part of the crowd of treats on a meze platter.
Maybe Italian polpette seem a little obvious, but this southern Italian combination feels fresh.
Thai cuisine has its fair share of fragrant ground meat preparations, but this rendition is especially punchy.
These are just a few of the ways I like to travel by way of meatballs. What other regionally inspired flavors would you use to make these easily portioned packages your own? Share your ideas in the comments section below.
Do you love a good food theme as much as I do? Tell me what food items or themes you'd like to see featured in this column and your idea could be the subject of an upcoming post!
Like this post? See Molly's previous topic: Peanut Butter.
Molly is a chef and food educator living and cooking in northern Wisconsin. When she's not dreaming up themed menus, she's dishing out other delicious content as the editorial assistant for the Whole Foods Market Cooking program.