The housewares store bills them as a healthy and sustainable new option.
Who walks into an IKEA and doesn’t at least consider grabbing some meatballs? (If you don’t, don’t tell me. I want to keep assuming I’m normal.) If your only excuse to go sans-balls was that you are meat-adverse, the Swedish furniture chain rolled out vegan-friendly veggie balls in 2015 (later followed by a veggie hot dog.) That same year, the brand also added chicken balls for those seeking a non-red-meaty alternative. But what about the pescatarians out there? Have no fear; salmon balls are here! And as an added bonus, they’re sustainable.
These fishy new balls should be available at all IKEA U.S. restaurants starting today, billed as "healthy for both people and the planet." The brand says the new menu item — which it's referring to as an "eatball" — is made from ASC-certified salmon with the addition of MSC-certified cod and then seasoned with seaweed and lemongrass "to capture the fresh taste of the Nordic sea in one tasty ball." (Keep your double entendres to yourself, please!)
As any IKEA fan will tell you, salmon has long been a staple of the chain’s menu which played a major role in the creations of the new balls. "During the product development of the salmon balls we saw a lot of potential in the smaller pieces of salmon, the ones that cannot be used as fillets. But these are just as good and delicious!" Sabrina Anania-Stepanian, Product Developer IKEA Food Services AB, said in a statement. "We worked closely with our suppliers, optimized the process and together created a new, tasty (m)eatball that also has a lower carbon footprint."
Watch IKEA's announcement video (with some intense narration) below:
Anania-Stepanian also revealed that the balls were originally tested in Portugal, where they apparently received a great response. "Over 80% of restaurant guests that tried the new salmon balls liked them and almost 90% of customers appreciated the salmon balls as a more sustainable option," she said. (I won't venture to guess why 10 percent of Portuguese IKEA shoppers apparently don't appreciate sustainability.)
IKEA boasts that, with the addition of these new salmon balls, the chain can finally meet the taste preferences of "vegetarians, flexitarians, seafood lovers, and classic meatball fans." And what if you don’t like balls? Well, hey, that’s on you.