The Chinese recipe “Four Joy Meatballs” (四喜丸子—Sì xǐ wánzi) is derived from Shandong cuisine, which originated in the native cooking styles of Shandong. Its history dates back to the Qin dynasty (221 BC to 207 BC).
The ancient Roman cookbook Apicius included many meatball-type recipes.
Early recipes included in some of the earliest known Arabic cookbooks generally feature seasoned lamb rolled into orange-sized balls and glazed with egg yolk and sometimes saffron. This method was taken to the West and is referred to as gilding. Many regional variations exist, notable among them the unusually large kufteh Tabrizi, having an average diameter of 20 centimetres (7.9 in).
Poume d’oranges is a gilded meatball dish from the Middle Ages.
Most meatball recipes found in Americas are derived from European cuisine influences, notably Italian, Iberian (Portuguese-Spanish), and Nordic (Swedish-Finnish) cuisines.
In Brazil, meatballs are called almôndegas, derived from Italian influences. These are usually served with tomato sauce and pasta.
In the Canadian province of Quebec, meatballs are the main component of a traditional dish called ragoût de boulettes (meatballs stew). The meatballs are made with ground pork, onions, spices like cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg and are simmered in a gravy that’s thickened with toasted flour. The dish is normally served with boiled or mashed potatoes and pickled beets. It is so popular that a factory-processed version of the dish is available canned in most supermarkets throughout the province.
In Mexico, albóndigas are commonly served with a light broth and vegetables, or with a mild chipotle sauce.
In the United States, meatballs are commonly derived from European cuisine influence. Usually, they are served with spaghetti, on pizza, or on a sub, as in spaghetti and meatballs, meatball pizza, and meatball sandwich. In the southern United States, venison or beef is also often mixed with spices and baked into large meatballs that can be served as an entree. Another variation, called “porcupine meatballs” are basic meatballs often with rice in them.
4 oz cream cheese, cubed
3 tablespoons butter, unsalted
3 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
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