The Fine Taste Of Meatballs: İnegöl

Bursa’s Historic Town Of İnegöl Is Famous For Its Meatballs, Which Have Been Kneaded Patiently For More Than 100 Years. Here Is The Secret Of Their Outstanding Flavor.

One Turkey’s original fast food, İnegöl kofta got its start in the 19th century. Brought by chefs from the town of Plovdiv in Bulgaria, the recipe is actually quite simple. Neither bread nor eggs nor spices are used in İnegöl kofta. All that goes into them are ground meat, salt and a little onion. The meat, a special blend of the lamb and veal raised in the region, is trimmed of tendons and excess fat and ground at least twice. And therein lies the secret since you’ll never need a toothpick after you eat these meatballs! The ground meat is kneaded with salt right from the start. And that’s where the chef’s mastery comes in. According to the cognoscenti, when it reaches the right consistency the cook should put it aside to rest and order a cup of Turkish coffee! White bean ‘Piyaz’ salad dressed with olive oil and vinegar and fresh bread from a neighboring bakery are the sine qua nons of an İnegöl kofta repast. But whether ayran (buttermilk) or şıra (fermented grape juice) goes better with these freshly grilled meatballs is up to you. This much is certain: It’s worth going to İnegöl for these meatballs served with a grilled tomato, green pepper and onion rings on the side! A PATENTED TASTE Patented in Turkey’s Official Gazette as an original trademark, İnegöl kofta is symbolized by a giant sculpture at the entrance to the town. You can try these meatballs at kofta restaurants in İnegöl or along the Bursa-Ankara highway.