Today’s recipe for the classic IKEA meatball rolled out from our test kitchen already in 1985. Since then, the IKEA meatball has become an icon on plates around the world and a proud example of traditional Swedish cooking. But, when we asked customers on three different continents what food they prefer, we realized we had to extend our meatball family with tasty alternatives.
“Not everyone eats beef or pork, so we went into the kitchen to create new recipes,” says David Johansson, chef and product developer at IKEA Food Services. First came the chicken ball – an alternative for those who like meat, but not necessarily red meat. “Like all our meatballs it’s just as good hot as cold, and we’ve seasoned it gently so it fits different cuisines and local flavors.”
Sustainability was also a reason to create new options. “With the veggie ball we wanted to offer something as appreciated as the classic meatball, but plant-based and with less environmental impact,” explains David. The veggie ball has a carbon footprint that is 20 times lower than the classic meatball, the chicken ball has a carbon footprint that is four times lower. With more alternatives you can not only choose between more favorites, you can also decide how big environmental impact your meal should have.
The latest, but not the last, member of the IKEA meatball family is the salmon and cod ball. It contains pieces of salmon that are too small to be used as whole fillets. “And since it’s very tasty meat, we thought, why not make delicious fish balls of it instead?” says David. He also tells about a coming addition to the family. It will be made of plant-based proteins, but taste and look like meat. That’s good news for meat lovers who want to eat more sustainably from time to time. “A lot has happened since 1985. Now, there are eatable IKEA icons for more of the many people. No matter if you’re flexitarian, vegan, have dietary needs or cultural preferences.”