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I'm researching recipes for food from around the world shaped in balls -- meatballs, matzoh balls, cheese balls, rum balls, tartufo, etc...

So whip out your balls, so to speak, and let me know what you got!

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  1. aranchini (spelling??) I believe if I have this right- little deep fried risotto balls with cheese in the middle. I have only had them once at Two Amy's in D.C.

    7 Replies
    1. re: cocoagirl

      They're spelled arancini (the "c" in Italian makes a "ch" sound). I've seen arancini di riso both big and small, but often made with peas or ground beef and stuffed with mozzeralla.

      1. re: gini

        I used to work with a lovely old Italian waiter at Scaramouche in Toronto who called these something like balletti di telefono (sp). He said they ate them when he was a kid and the name came from the way the melted cheese strung out like tlephone lines when you bit them. Good suggestion!!

        1. re: ognir

          My mom, who is from Germany, would make these for us in the winter. She would remove the marrow from the bones, then use the bones in the soup.
          She would render down the marrow and then mix it with bread crumbs some stale bread, parsley and seasoning and roll them into dumplings a little smaller than golf balls.
          I'll have to find that recipe as she is now confined to a nursing home.

          1. re: RichK

            Was it a family recipe, or was this a common German dish? Sounds amazing.

            (btw, I think we're off track on this branch of the thread, but that's ok)

        2. re: gini

          And the "ch" in Italian makes a "k" sound.

          1. re: gini

            "c" followed by an "i" or an "e" only (generally). :-)

          2. re: cocoagirl

            The ferry from mainland Italy to Sicily offers arancini from their upper deck commissary. They're delish. But the first time I had one it was offered to me by a Sicilian family with whom I was forced to share overnight bunks from Palermo to Rome. They were unbelievably gracious and shared their dinner with me; the arancini were better tasting than an olive branch, and just as welcome.

          3. When I was in Cinci this summer I had goetta balls. They were great.


            4 Replies
            1. re: Davwud

              Fascinating. I'd never heard of this till now. Thank you.


              1. re: Davwud

                A while ago I posted to the Los Angeles board about where I could get a Goetta locally. Got no responses. Wish I could try that. What do you like about it?

                1. re: Andrew Gore

                  Well, the taste I guess.
                  It really doesn't seem to hard to make. I'd just google a recipe and give it a whirl.


                  1. re: Andrew Gore

                    You can actually order it online. Shipping is kind of high since all perishable items are sent next day. Here's a link.


                2. I'd also ad Falafel. Those are some tasty balls.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: gini

                    But of course. Another great suggestion.

                    1. re: ognir

                      Just had a falafel pita for lunch yesterday at a little Greek place here in Naples called Pelagos, and that was my first time trying falafel...no wonder people crave it, it (they) were delicious!

                  2. Some meatballs I make: http://areyouhungryyet.blogspot.com/2...

                    Dim sum ... all the many steamed dumplings (har gow etc)

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                      My gf makes turkey meatballs in tomato sauce with ricotta. delicious!

                      I'm undecided abot dumplings. Love them, but are they really balls?

                      1. re: ognir

                        Some dumplings are ... maybe just not all (kind of the square/rectangle thing)? Pot stickers are not balls, but all of the har gow I've ever had have been, ditto for scallop dumplings etc.

                    2. Here's a recipe for balls I've made a few times:

                      Rocky Mountain Oysters (Montana Tendergroin)

                      2 pounds bull testicles (lamb/sheep, calf or turkey testicles can also be used)
                      1 cup flour
                      1/4 cup cornmeal
                      1 cup red wine
                      salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
                      Louisiana Hot Sauce
                      hog lard (cooking oil can be substituted)

                      Split the tough skin-like muscle that surrounds each "oyster." (use a sharp knife) You can also remove the skin easily if the "oysters" are frozen and then peeled while thawing. Set into a pan with enough salt water to cover them for one hour to remove some of the blood and drain.
                      Transfer to large pot. Add enough water to float "oysters" and a generous tablespoon of vinegar. Parboil, drain and rinse. Let cool and slice each "oyster" into 1/4 inch thick ovals. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of sliced "oyster" to taste.

                      Mix flour, cornmeal and some garlic powder to taste in a bowl. Roll each slice into this dry mixture. Dip into milk. Dip into dry mixture. Dip into wine quickly (repeat the procedure for a thicker crust).
                      Place into hot cooking oil.

                      Add Louisiana Hot Sauce to cooking oil (it'll sizzle some, so be careful!). Cook until golden brown or tender, and remove with a strainer (the longer they cook, the tougher they get).

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Bostonbob3

                        Turkey testicles!? Really? Didn't know they had them.

                        I had Rocky Mountain Oysters once, in a bar in Denver. They were tasty. Maybe that is just further proof that almost anything fried tastes good. Had rattlesnake at that same meal. It was also good. Had several beers, too, and perhaps that had something to do with the fact that I enjoyed it all immensely.

                        1. re: seefood

                          Didn't know they had them? The turkeys or the meat supplier?

                          Seriously, the only recipe I've seen that calls for turkey testicles is Daniel Rogov's recipe for Jerusalem Mixed Grill (Meurav Yerushalmi), a dish that is something akin to a chicken hash. It normally includes finely chopped dark meat chicken, an assortment of equally finely chopped chicken innards, and the cook's secret spice blend. The turkey parts seem to be a "special" addition. I have no idea where one would acquire this ingredient.

                      2. KEUFTA (ARMENIAN STUFFED MEATBALLS)

                        Outer Shell Ingerdients:
                        3 cups finely milled bulghour
                        3 cups water
                        2 cans of ceci or garabanzo beans
                        3 large eggs
                        3/4 cup all purpose flour
                        Place the bulghour and water into a large bowl and let stand for 3-4 hours. Place the ceci or garabanzo beans with their juice in a food processor or blender and process until well blended. Add all the above ingredients together and knead into a soft doughy mixture. Form into balls, [about 30] and depress the balls with your thumb to make a cavity in which to place the filling.

                        Filling Ingredients:
                        4 yellow onions [chopped]
                        2 tablespoons olive oil
                        1 cup Armenian or Italian parsley [chopped]
                        1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves [chopped]
                        1 teaspoon fresh sweet basil [chopped]
                        Salt and pepper to taste
                        1 cup creamy peanut butter
                        1 cup pine nuts or chopped walnuts or a combination of both.

                        Cooking Directions:
                        Saute the onions in the olive oil until limp and trans-lucent. Drain off any excess oil or liquid. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Take a tablespoon of the filling mixture and place into the cavity in the bulghour balls. Bring the cavity edges together and seal the filling inside.

                        Add 2 teaspoons of salt to stock pot of boiling water and cook the keufta until they float to the top.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Infomaniac

                          This sounds delicious, Infomaniac. Are you Armenian? What is Aremenian parsley. Never heard of that before.

                          I think I had these somewhere once, but I can't remember...

                          1. re: ognir

                            I'm Armenian and yes, these are delicious

                            These Keufta are good warm, but I like them better cold. They are a little bit of work, and I usually will make them if I'm snowed in for the day.

                            Armenian parsley aka Cilician parsley, link will explain history...I use regular flat leaf parsley unless I come across this at an ethnic market.


                            1. re: Infomaniac

                              Fascinating. Thank you for that.

                        2. Fish/meat/squid/shrimp balls! Found in the freezer section of your local Asian market. My mom says once you've seen them being made, you'll never want to eat them again. But they're so good.

                          1 Reply
                          1. Albondigas--Mexican meatballs served in soup.
                            Sorr, but I don't have a recipe on hand.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: raj1

                              No worries. I can look that up. Thanks for the tip.

                            2. Pearl meatballs from China. Pork, water chestnuts, a little bit of scallions...rolled in glutinous rice and steamed.

                              Lion's head meatballs.

                              Most Asian markets have a colorful array of fish balls (including squid, lobster, cuttlefish, shrimp, and other balls) in the seafood section.

                              Pork meatballs from Taiwan have a special bouncy, chewy mouthfeel. They're called gong wan. Anyone know what's in them?

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Pei

                                Are the chestnuts whole in those pearl meatballs?

                                1. re: ognir

                                  I love pearl meatballs!! (think they're called zhenzhuwan?). Water chestnuts are diced.

                                  I think that there's not much beyond pork in the gongwan, they're just pounded to perfection (though I think they look silly). I think this is different from the pork ball recipe below. I'll ask my mom.

                                  Some other round Chinese foods:
                                  ma tuan (sesame balls) fried dough with sesame seeds filled with red bean paste

                                  tang yuan - chewy glutinous rice flour balls that can be filled with red bean, black sesame, or peanut pastes, or used alone (smaller) in sweet soups. some of the latter ones are pink. eaten at end of new year's holiday.

                                  rou yuan - a larger, globby glutinous rice (same as above) sack filled with meat and veggies in some sort of gelatinous, starchy goo. can you tell not my favorite?

                                  and lots of steamed buns are round, as are pearl balls in boba.

                              2. Marrow dumplings served in a hearty clear broth mmmmmm!!!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: RichK

                                  Marrow dumplings. Wow. Where are those from?

                                2. Yucatecan KIBIs!! Similar to Lebanese Kibbeh's bit served with pickled onions. :)

                                  Salvadoran Chorizo, the links are shaped like little balls!

                                  'Meat Balls' of various purred meats (Fish, Pork, Beef, Chicken) at Chinese and Thai supermarkets! :)


                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Dommy

                                    Amazing what I'm learning today. I will have tio find Salvadoran Chorizos. Thanks Dommy!

                                    1. What about Hush Puppies? Ain't nothing like some deep-fried cornmeal.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: MuppetGrrl

                                        Yes, of course. And popcorn shrimp.

                                        1. re: MuppetGrrl

                                          Talk about deep-fried goodness, Jamaican fried dumplings are handful sized balls of deep-fried dough made from flour and cornmeal. Lots of crispy surface area!

                                        2. Pearl drinks (aka boba, tapioka drinks)
                                          Cascaron (Filipino version of the puff pastry but with coconut)
                                          Cream puffs
                                          Malt balls
                                          Chocolate truffles

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: Foodrat

                                            The first thing that comes to mind for me is Japanese takoyaki -- octopus balls -- but I don't have a recipe.

                                            1. re: Amuse Bouches

                                              That's okay. I found lots of takoyaki hits on the web. Thanks for the tip. Never heard of these before -- squid balls!

                                              1. re: ognir

                                                They're really quite interesting. Served with mayo, seaweed powder, and bonito. I find them too sweet and not enough octopus, but they're quite popular in food stands.

                                            2. re: Foodrat

                                              Of course, Foodrat. Musn't forget the desserts! Thanks!

                                              1. re: ognir

                                                What about those chocolate peanut butter balls that many folks make at xmas. Some have crushed pretzels in the pb mix. Sounds ridiculous but they are a guilty pleasure for me during the holidays. Don't tell anyone!

                                                update: Buckeyes! That's what they're called... thanks!

                                            3. Has anyone ever had a Quebecois dish called Ragout Boullet (sp?)? I had it while visiting a farm near Rouen Noranda many years ago. Essentially it is meatballs in gravy, but I'd love to have an authentic recipe.

                                              Keep the balls coming!!

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: ognir

                                                Try looking up "ragout de boulettes" - esp. if you can locate a translation of Jehanne Benoit's cookbook.

                                                1. re: piccola

                                                  Yes, of course, Madame Benoit. A classic. These things were freaking addictive.

                                                1. re: weez

                                                  Yes, those look delicious! Thank you!

                                                  1. re: ognir

                                                    I've had these, they are delicious, and surprisingly easy to make (though you might need the right pan/form and the hook for turning them.

                                                2. Donut holes Yucky, but ball-shaped.
                                                  Small balls of fresh mozzarella.
                                                  Do fried stuffed olives count? Sort of oval-shaped...

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: Glencora

                                                    Hey, I'm not above eating a donut hole: :-O

                                                    My jury is out on certain things like those olives. I mean, what about a caramel apple? Does that fit the "balls bill"? I dunno. What's your opinion?

                                                    1. re: ognir

                                                      Maybe not olives. Probably the food should need to be formed into a ball shape, otherwise, you're right, carmel apples would have to count, too. Why are you doing this again? Just kidding.

                                                      1. re: Glencora

                                                        I dunno. I just think it's amazing that the ball shape is used all over the world. Maybe I should start a web site.
                                                        www. eatingballs. com


                                                        (I hope that's not a real site!)

                                                    1. re: LoDega

                                                      All I can say is genius! Pure genius! Do you know where these originate? Is it Ohio, the buckeye state, by any chance?

                                                      1. re: ognir

                                                        My grandmother had a buckeye tree in her back yard in Dayton, OH, but I don't remember eating buckeyes until I moved to Massachusetts. I hope they originated in Ohio. I'll see what I can discover!

                                                        1. re: LoDega

                                                          I swore there was an article in Saveur about buckeyes a while back, and I searched online and found a reference to it: "Football Nuts : History of the Ohio State buckeye", but not the article itself (it's from August/ September 2004, upon further inspection)

                                                          1. re: MollyGee

                                                            Ah-ha! The trail to the buckeye gets hotter.

                                                        2. re: ognir

                                                          Definitely an Ohio thing. I was told by an old friend's mother, when visiting Ohio, that it was the State Cookie!

                                                          Be careful though, the traditional recipes contain parafin as part of the outer chocolate coating. They taste much better without.

                                                          1. re: foodieB

                                                            as an eager student of ohio public education i learned that tomato juice is the state beverage, the ladybug is the state insect, and the buckeye is the state tree, but i never learned that the buckeye was the state cookie. it certainly makes sense! buckeyes and graeter's are the possibly the two best things about ohio (and yes, graeter's does have a buckeye ice cream)

                                                            word of caution... we were also taught that real buckeyes are poisonous!

                                                      2. The whole meal is not a ball, but this Ecuadorean soup is primarily known for its delicious balls called Caldo de Bolas. The balls are made from mashed green plantain that is formed into balls and then stuffed with a stewed beef mixture with eggs, olives, raisins. It's a very hearty soup that makes more of a meal. Usually served with a bowl of plain white rice and some slices of avocado.

                                                        1. ognir, I'm in Quebec, so I thought I'd provide a recipe for the ragout de boulettes. Try this:

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. Another winner. This sounds delicious. Thanks Sandrina!

                                                            Hey, I remember seeing a photograph somewhere of a dish that was essentially a giant meatball, about six inches across, in tomato sauce. Anyone know of such a creature?

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: ognir

                                                              There is an old, basic traditional Italian cookbook, called the "Talisman", by, I believe, Ada Bono. It has a recipe for a giant meatball. I crack up whenever I read it.

                                                            2. Don't know about that one, but it reminds me of matzoh balls!

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: MuppetGrrl

                                                                Maybe it was a matzoh ball and not a meatball...hmmm.

                                                              2. Chinese Chicken/Pork Meatballs

                                                                1 1⁄2 lbs of ground chicken and/or ground pork
                                                                2 Tbsp. Chopped FRESH Ginger
                                                                1⁄2 C chopped water chestnuts
                                                                1 tsp. Sesame oil
                                                                1 large onion chopped
                                                                2 scallions finely chopped (raw)
                                                                3 Tbsp. Soy sauce
                                                                3 cloves of chopped garlic
                                                                1 egg beaten
                                                                1⁄2 C plain breadcrumbs
                                                                Sesame seeds for coating meatballs
                                                                Cornstarch for coating meatballs
                                                                Oil for frying

                                                                Fry chopped large onion in 2 tbsp. Oil for 3 minutes. Let cool and add all other ingredients except cornstarch and sesame seeds.
                                                                Form into small meatballs, roll in sesame seeds and lightly coat with cornstarch. Fry until light golden brown. Add sauce (recipe below) and boil for 10 minutes.
                                                                Remove meatballs from sauce and serve sauce on the side for dipping.


                                                                2 C chicken stock/broth
                                                                6 Tbsp. Dry white wine (cooking wine is fine)
                                                                4 Tbsp. Sugar
                                                                3 Tbsp Soy sauce
                                                                1 tsp. Fresh ginger minced
                                                                1 tsp minced garlic
                                                                1 chopped scallion

                                                                Let reduce until thick. If it doesn’t become thick, add some cornstarch and warm water

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: jenniebnyc

                                                                  We could have a whole thread just on Asian balls. Thanks jennieBBBB!

                                                                  1. re: Chowsmurf

                                                                    The donut hole's grown-up cousin, eh? Thanks!

                                                                  2. I love Spanish croquetas:

                                                                    - Make a standard bechamel
                                                                    - Add finely chopped (often leftover) meat... ham, chicken, fish, etc.
                                                                    (my personal favorite is the rest of the mesquite-smoked turkey we do on the bbq each year at Thanksgiving)
                                                                    - Spread into a shallow pain and chill
                                                                    - When firm, form into small balls and coat with beaten egg and breadcrumbs
                                                                    (I store on a tray lined with wax paper as I work)
                                                                    - Pan fry in shallow olive oil until browned and crisp

                                                                    These things are addictive

                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Pincho

                                                                      Sounds delicious. But what makes them Spanish?

                                                                      1. re: ognir

                                                                        Well, this recipe for croquetas is common home cooking in Spain and also a near-ubiquitous snack food in bars throughout Spain, especially "croquetas de jamón" from bechamel spotted with chunks of serrano ham. Certainly croquetas are also made outside Spain, but...

                                                                        1. re: ognir

                                                                          My Spanish sister-in-law makes these, and it always astonishes me, because most of the other cooking in her house is tofu-seitan-skim milk-absolutely without fat of any kind. And then she cooks croquetas.

                                                                          1. re: Anne H

                                                                            Comfort food and a taste of home are powerful things!

                                                                            Another thing about these is that they always seem to be a be a hit with picky young eaters, almost akin to the mac-n-cheese phenomenon.

                                                                        2. re: Pincho

                                                                          Sso what's the approximate ratio of meat to sauce? And I assume you make a thick version of the sauce?

                                                                        3. Indian Cusine
                                                                          -Gulab Jammun
                                                                          -Rass Gulla
                                                                          -Rass Malai
                                                                          They're sweets,made from dairy,I believe,and
                                                                          served in a sugar syrup. YUM!

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: JC_JOE

                                                                            Yes, I've had these from sweets shops in Indiatown in Toronto. They are great. I found them to be really unusual to my western palate, but I loved them. Thanks for telling me their names!

                                                                          2. This is a great thread! I'm envisioning a wonderful buffet of round food -- served on a table covered in a polka-dot tablecloth!

                                                                            My mom used to make these -- they're very sweet.

                                                                            Teiglach -- a round pastry covered in honey, nuts -- traditional on Rosh Hashanah.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: saltandpepper

                                                                              Oh man. My teeth are hurting. These look amazing. Thanks!

                                                                              1. re: ognir

                                                                                My great-aunt used to make Teiglach. Even as a kid, I thought they were too sweet. But hers also seemed to be stale, even when she had just made them.

                                                                                saltandpepper, I'm sure yours are much better. The ginger probably helps tone down the sweetness slightly,

                                                                              1. re: LoDega

                                                                                Holy white trash cooking! (Nothing personal!) Did I say my teeth are hurting??? Thanks!

                                                                              2. If you want a true "ball" how about a Rocky Mountain Oyster / Prairie Oyster.


                                                                                Here in Calgary, they have an annual 'testicle festival' featuring all the different ways to prepare them.

                                                                                Gotta love the motto "Come on down and have a ball!"

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: newJJD

                                                                                  Oh, I don't know if I could do it. What do they taste like???

                                                                                  1. re: ognir

                                                                                    Like a mild sausage / meatball

                                                                                2. Or what about mochi ice cream? I think they are ball-ish. And very tasty!

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: ognir

                                                                                      I can't help it! I must have balls on the brain!! (In only the most appropriate and food related way possible, of course)

                                                                                  1. Spinach croquettes - basically cooked, squeezed and chopped spinach mixed with fontina and parmesan, egg and a little flour, then formed into balls and panfried.

                                                                                    Snowball cookies

                                                                                    Grand-pères (Québécois dumplings, usually sweet)


                                                                                    and those Japanese rice balls (what are they called again?)

                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: piccola

                                                                                      Those croquettes sound good. And thanks for reminding me of snowballs (how could I have forgotten).

                                                                                      Jury is still out on dumplings...

                                                                                      And are gnocchi really balls, or just ball like?

                                                                                      Japanese rice balls: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onigiri

                                                                                      I've never had these. Are they good?

                                                                                      1. re: ognir

                                                                                        ognir - just saw a Japanese movie last week (Kamome Diner) in which a woman opens a diner in Helsinki specializing in onigiri, which she calls "Japanese soul food", cute film, gave me a wicked craving though. It (onigiri) looked easy enough, take the rice, shape it in into a ball in your hands (you could also use a teatowel or plastic wrap & twist to shape) then poke a hole in middle and place goodies inside and serve with a bit of nori wrapped around it.
                                                                                        I have a recipe for sushi balls and they look cute:
                                                                                        Mushroom Sushi
                                                                                        2 cups white sushi rice
                                                                                        2 Tablespoons white sesame seeds

                                                                                        4 large fresh shiitake (just the caps)
                                                                                        3 T mirin
                                                                                        2 T soy sauce
                                                                                        1 T sake
                                                                                        poppy seeds & red ginger pickes as garnish
                                                                                        Toast the white sesame seeds light in pan with no oil. Crush them and mix them with the sushi rice.
                                                                                        Mix the mirin, soy sauce & sake and simmer the fresh shiitake mushroom caps in the liquid for a min. or two. Remove the caps and drain well.
                                                                                        Form a ball of sushi rice, place a mushroom cap on top of it & sprinkle with poppy seeds. Serve with red ginger pickles as garnish.

                                                                                        1. re: morebubbles

                                                                                          but wait - onigiri are not necessarily round, they're often triangle shaped too - just depends on how you shape them.

                                                                                          i once ate a japanese dessert that was pure sugar, but a very delicate concoction of powder turned into tiny round pearl-shaped balls. supposed to be a "lovers dessert" that you have with strong tea. basically melts in your mouth, but it was all about the packaging. don't know the name of it.

                                                                                        2. re: ognir

                                                                                          Well, they're dumplings in the same way that matzoh balls are dumplings - balls of dough cooked in liquid. Not in the shumai sense of the word.

                                                                                          I don't quite catch the nuance of "ball-like", but I'll take your word for it.

                                                                                          Oh, and I just remembered pignolata, the Italian version of the doughnut hole. And can we count cream puffs?

                                                                                          1. re: ognir

                                                                                            The onigiri I've always had are pyramid, not spherical. They are mighty tasty though, and in every convenience store in Japan.

                                                                                          2. How about tartufo (ice cream balls)? Ice cream balls w/ a cherry inside and a chocolate couveture.

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: MollyGee

                                                                                              I did mention tartufo at the top, but I've never heard of them with cherries inside. Where do you get those?

                                                                                              1. re: ognir

                                                                                                Whoopsie, so you did! Well, you could make your own. Here's a recipe that includes (maraschino) cherries:


                                                                                                You could use these molds. There's a video that shows how it's done!:


                                                                                                I think that there is often something (a cherry or hazelnut) tucked into the middle of tartufo.

                                                                                            2. Fried macaroni and cheese balls

                                                                                              1. Chip Shop in Brooklyn makes a ball of fried macaroni and cheese. It's delicious, but it could kill you.

                                                                                                In Puerto Rico we make rellenos de papa: Fried balls of mashed potato with seasoned meat inside--usually finely chopped or shredded pork or beef w ith olives, capers, and tomato sauce for a little moisture. The potato mixture is sometimes colored with Achiotina, or annatto seed oil.

                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: MaspethMaven

                                                                                                  Good to hear about Puerto Rican balls.

                                                                                                  Yeah those mac&cheese balls sound great, but oh my heart!

                                                                                                  1. re: MaspethMaven

                                                                                                    The rellenos de papa are also a Cuban thing but called papa rellenas instead.

                                                                                                    1. re: calpurnia

                                                                                                      They sounded familiar. I think I had these in Cuba.

                                                                                                      1. re: ognir

                                                                                                        In Iraq, there is a kind of Kibbeh (they say it more like kubah) that are very much like rellenos de papa (though definitely not made with pork). Sometime the dampen a piece of pita or houbiz and tear it up and mix it with the mashed potatoes. And sometimes they come out as balls but are often made into flying saucers or cigar shapes. The goal is to make them as tiny as possible without filling showing through -- that means you're a good cook.

                                                                                                        1. re: ognir

                                                                                                          You beat me to papa rellena. Ingenious to put a meat filling in a layer of masehd potato, dip 'em in bread crumbs and then fry them up. Argentines make something similar [called a papa rellena] but it isn't in the shape of a ball and doesn't involve breadcrumbs. More like a potato pie stuffed with the meat mixture. Now the cubans, they have some balls!

                                                                                                    2. Eggplant balls. Cooked eggplant, formed around a bit of mozzarella, rolled in breadcrumbs, and fried. Think it's an Arthur Schwartz recipe; try his website. A bit of work, but ambrosial.

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: Scribbler

                                                                                                        Yeah, he calls them Polpette di Melanzane.

                                                                                                        Mario Batali also has a recipe here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                                                      2. There's a dish I had in Austria, years ago, that was referenced earlier on some Chow board, called Marillen Knoedel (sp?). It's an apricot or prune plum, pitted, with a sugar cube in the center, then surrounded by a mashed potato and flour dough, boiled, then pan fried and served with conf. sugar. VERY yummy.

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: EllenMM

                                                                                                          The potato coating makes these very unusual. I'll have to try them. Thanks!

                                                                                                          1. re: EllenMM

                                                                                                            We grew up with these using prune plums. They were a Hungarian recipe and I know I am going to butcher the name, but we called them Gum-boats. (Thats an attempt at the right pronunciation, no where near the right spelling!). We loved them as kids, and I definitely recall a cinnamon-sugar thing going on too. They are quite ball-like, and they can weigh heavily in your tummy too!

                                                                                                          2. What about rum balls? Does anyone have a recipe that does not use corn syrup?

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Babette

                                                                                                              Here's a recipe that uses honey:

                                                                                                              2 cups finely ground cake crumbs from a leftover cake
                                                                                                              2 tablespoons cocoa powder, optional
                                                                                                              1 cup powdered sugar, sifted, plus extra for rolling
                                                                                                              1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
                                                                                                              2 to 4 tablespoons honey
                                                                                                              1/4 cup dark rum
                                                                                                              4 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted, optional

                                                                                                              In a mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, or by hand, mix together the cake crumbs, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and nuts. Stir in the 2 tablespoons of honey and the rum. Using your hands, try to form the mixture into a ball. If the mixture won't hold together add a little more honey. Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls, then roll them in powdered sugar or melted chocolate, and let them set up. Then, let them age or ripen 24 hours.

                                                                                                            2. Do Pifiterolies(sic) count?
                                                                                                              Whenever my mother-in-law makes sour beef she always makes potato dumplings that are round about the size of baseballs.

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Hue

                                                                                                                I don't know. What's the board's opinion on profiteroles -- balls or not balls?

                                                                                                                Same question for dumplings...

                                                                                                                1. re: ognir

                                                                                                                  I think profiteroles are round, i.e. balls

                                                                                                                  But dumplings (jiaozi) are generally not round. Even won tons (hun tun) are flat little things, and the wrapper is spiky on top or at least folded. Not balls! Compared to steamed bun things (generally some kind of "bao" term, which means wrapped but has the connotation of round I think).

                                                                                                                  I guess other types of southern "dumplings" like xiaolongbao (literally little dragon bundles) are rounder than northern dumplings...so some of them???

                                                                                                              2. In SW Louisiana they make boudin balls- instead of stuffing the boudin mixture into casing they make balls and fry. Usually served with some kind of sauce for dipping. Very good. You can find them at Jazz Fest in New Orleans every year.

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: roxanne207

                                                                                                                  Excuse my limited knowledge, but what is "boudin mixture"?

                                                                                                                  1. re: ognir

                                                                                                                    Sorry. Pork, liver, rice with seasonings. It's stuffed into a natural casing, cooked and eaten like a sausage. If you're ever down there, try it. Good stuff.

                                                                                                                2. I just remembered those Hostess pink snowballs. I never cared for them however they are balls.

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: calpurnia

                                                                                                                    You don't like pink balls??? :-D

                                                                                                                  2. How about Fig Snowball Cookies?

                                                                                                                    8 oz. dried figs 1 cup brown sugar
                                                                                                                    1⁄2 cup water 1 cup butter
                                                                                                                    1 3/4 cup flour
                                                                                                                    1 egg
                                                                                                                    2 tsp. baking powder
                                                                                                                    1 tsp. vanilla
                                                                                                                    1⁄2 tsp salt
                                                                                                                    1 1/2 cup shredded coconut
                                                                                                                    1 tsp. cinnamon pecan halves (about 48)

                                                                                                                    Snip figs into small pieces with sissors. Combine with water in small heaheavy saucepan and cook over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Let cool. Sift dry ingredients together. Cream butter and brown sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add figs and dry ingredients and blend well. Chill for about 30 minutes. Put coconut in small bowl. Shape rounded teaspoon of dough into a ball* and roll in coconut. Place on greased or parchment lined cookie sheet. Top with pecan half.
                                                                                                                    Bake in pre-heated 375 degree oven for about 12 - 15 minutes. These cookies spread a lot! Dough that has been rolled in coconut can be placed in mini muffin tins for baking.

                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: chowdear

                                                                                                                      They sound delicious. Do they maintain their ball shape after cooking?

                                                                                                                      1. re: ognir

                                                                                                                        The recipe is on my "must try" list, so I'm not sure how much they spread. The recipe was given to me with a picture of them, and they look like oblongish-thick balls, sprinkled with powdered sugar.

                                                                                                                        1. re: chowdear

                                                                                                                          Report back and let us know! :)

                                                                                                                    2. German potato dumplings, AKA Kartoffelkloesse. They're about the size of a baseball, seasoned with nutmeg, and have a cube or two of fried bread in the center.

                                                                                                                      They're good with saurbraten, and better the next day, sliced and fried in butter.

                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: gorboduc

                                                                                                                        Also Bayerische Semmelklösse, Bavarian bread dumplings (either Speck or bacon pressed with soaked day-old bread, eggs, etc.)

                                                                                                                        There's a recipe here:

                                                                                                                        and another one here:

                                                                                                                        1. re: Nancy Berry

                                                                                                                          I leaning towards favouring what yumyum said below. If a dumpling is traditionally shped into a ball by hand before cooking, then it fits the category. But dumplings dropped from a spoon don't...no matter hew delicious they are!

                                                                                                                          Do you know what the tradition is here Nancy? Looks like these are formed, from those recipes.

                                                                                                                          1. re: ognir

                                                                                                                            There are formed. My daughter's boyfriend's family is originally from Munich and his grandmother makes them. He says that she forms (presses) them into balls with her hands.

                                                                                                                      2. No, this isn't just a family thing. I have had them in resaurants here in the States and they are served in Germany too.
                                                                                                                        I'll try to dig out the recipe and post it if you want me to

                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: RichK

                                                                                                                          I'd love to see a recipe for that, Rich.

                                                                                                                          1. re: ognir

                                                                                                                            Here it is. I found it in her German cookbook book.

                                                                                                                            GERMAN MARKKLOSSCHEN (MARROW DUMPLINGS IN CONSOMME)

                                                                                                                            2/3 CUP BEEF MARROW
                                                                                                                            4 SLICES OF STALE BREAD
                                                                                                                            1/4 CUP MILK
                                                                                                                            2 EGGS
                                                                                                                            2 TABLESPOONS ALL PURPOSE FLOUR
                                                                                                                            SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE
                                                                                                                            1/8 TEASPOON GROUND NUTMEG
                                                                                                                            PARSLEY IF DESIRED


                                                                                                                            1. re: RichK

                                                                                                                              Well, they aren't ball dumplings, but dang they sound good.

                                                                                                                              1. re: ognir

                                                                                                                                Well she rolled them to about the size of a ping pong ball. she never dropped them from the spoon as her recipe said to do.
                                                                                                                                and let me tell you, they are delicious!!

                                                                                                                        2. What about crab balls? Kinda like a mini crab cake.

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: nosey

                                                                                                                            Excellent. I looooove crab cakes. (But then, who doesn't?)

                                                                                                                          2. You've got rum balls, but in my family, they were always bourbon balls, rolled in those little brown chocolate sprinkles.

                                                                                                                            Two other balls ideas -- greek cookies that are very dry/crumbly with almond or pistachios and dusted in powdered sugar, and greek pastries fried and drizzled with honey. Don't know the names, but I'll poke around google a bit and see if I can't find them.

                                                                                                                            My votes: dumplings are not balls unless they are spherical. Gnocchi are not balls, they are ovals.

                                                                                                                            Fun thread!

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: yumyum

                                                                                                                              I'm tending to agree with you, yumyum, regarding dumplings and gnocchi. I think balls have to be formed by hand.

                                                                                                                              I prefer bourbon balls over rum balls personally.

                                                                                                                              I've had those crumbly Greek cookies. They are delicious.

                                                                                                                            2. The syrup coated greek balls are loukoumades but can't find the name of the powdered-sugared balls.

                                                                                                                              1. Okay, thought of another one. Scotch eggs. Hard boiled egg wrapped in english sausage, lightly breaded and deep fried.

                                                                                                                                1. I think they are called kourabiedes. (They are also sometimes made in a crescent or lozenge shape.)


                                                                                                                                  There seems to be a whole subcategory of cookies/sweets that resemble snowballs.

                                                                                                                                  1. There's Dutch bitterballen, which is a breaded and fried ball of meat ragout.

                                                                                                                                    1. You can find lots of dessert ball-like sweets (including loukoumades) on the Fried Dough Around the World website:

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: Kitchen Imp

                                                                                                                                        Wow! It's the motherload. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                      2. While we were in Barcelona, we stopped by Foodball for lunch where everything came in the shape of a ball. Balls of rice filled with goodies. All organic. The lunch combo was three balls of your choice. I had the seafood paella, the chicken and the carob bean. Very tasty and very fresh. You could either eat it with your hands or use a knife and fork. I haven't figured out how to upload a picture of our meal so you'll just have to take a look at this website in the meantime!


                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: fickle

                                                                                                                                          Three balls seems like overkill. Or an embarassment of riches. :)

                                                                                                                                          How about liver dumplings in beef broth?

                                                                                                                                          And the classic snowball dessert - vanilla ice cream covered in coconut. Loved them when I was a kid.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: bryan

                                                                                                                                            Thank you for such a great thread, a fun idea!

                                                                                                                                            OHHHHH Man! I just remembered a soup and the recipe for this wonderful Austrian Dumpling Soup! The dumplings are shaped into small balls
                                                                                                                                            Calves liver (ground) , hard rolls soaked in milk with seasonings and cooked in a clear beef broth, marjoram. minced onion, parsley, egg,salt and pepper, fine bread crumbs for the dumplings and served in a clear beef consomme
                                                                                                                                            Call me crazy, but I love this soup,t is a great first course.
                                                                                                                                            Make sure to test run the balls first so they don't fall apart when dropped in the broth.

                                                                                                                                            A holiday side dish that I've seen done, stuffing balls for turkey ( nto that I would but there is such a recipe.

                                                                                                                                            Mexican Wedding Cookies
                                                                                                                                            Did anyone mention Danish Meatballs (made with veal, dill and alspice) and of course Sweedish Meatballs

                                                                                                                                          2. re: fickle

                                                                                                                                            Holy cow! A restaurant that serves only balls. What next? That's amazing, fickle. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                            And you can never have too many balls, bryan!

                                                                                                                                            (See above re the great dumpling debate.)

                                                                                                                                            And your childhood desset falls perfectly under the snowball category. Thank you.

                                                                                                                                          3. Lorenzo Lorenzo, of Paseo, used to serve FooFoo (sp?) balls wih every dinner. They were balls of seasoned mashed plantain, probably deep fried. About golfball sized and very fun. enough honkies didn't get it and left them on the plate that he quit offering these goodies and I miss them almost a much as his fabulous rice pudding.

                                                                                                                                            1. Norwegian Fish Balls.

                                                                                                                                              Made of haddock and potatoes and I'm sure other ingredients. Could sound awful, but I had them as a child and so have fond memories of them They are available, canned, at Scandinavian Specialty stores and, probably, on line.

                                                                                                                                              I had them served in Cream of Shrimp Soup (which maybe sounds worse) but they were yummy!

                                                                                                                                              1. I had tyrokeftedes in Rhodes once...basically deep fried cheese balls...really addictive.

                                                                                                                                                I didn't notice if anyone had mentioned Tamarind balls...

                                                                                                                                                And I'm surprised no one mentioned Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls ;)

                                                                                                                                                And those deep-fried sesame covered red bean paste balls they sell in Chinese bakeries...

                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                1. re: phoenikia

                                                                                                                                                  The sesame covered balls are called jin doi... tasty, yep, uh-huh.

                                                                                                                                                2. Tuna Meatballs: Polpette di Tonno

                                                                                                                                                  This a Batali recipe and I've made them numerous times. They are delicious.

                                                                                                                                                  1. The Indian sweet, Rasgulla. "Soft, spongy balls of cottage cheese soaked in chilled sugar syrup." Actually pretty good, but really sweet.

                                                                                                                                                    1. Aha, thanks to Fried Dough blog... see above... I was reminded of Stuffoli. a tower of syrup coated balls of pastry, probably made with something akin to choux paste.


                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MaspethMaven

                                                                                                                                                        That's what we call Pignolata - though the balls are more marble-sized, and taste like doughnuts.

                                                                                                                                                      2. My wife used to make a Holland dish called Bitterballen. It's very good.

                                                                                                                                                        1. How about fried ice cream? I've had them in (pseudo?) mexican restaurants with a crunchy caramel coating. My husband makes one that's wrapped in Sara Lee poundcake, then an eggy pancake like batter and then deep fried. He used to make it all the time before we met but once was enough for me. Delicious but decadent.

                                                                                                                                                          Another delicious edible ball...chocolate truffles.

                                                                                                                                                          1. I read an article in Gourmet (or was it Bon Apetite) last year about a kind of deep fried mashed potato ball made by street vendors in India. I remember the article saying it was flavoured with curry and also that many locals eat it as a kind of breakfast-on-the-go. Sounded absolutely chowish... But for the life of me I can't remember what it's called. Anyone know?

                                                                                                                                                            1. Saturday Night Live's skit about Pete Schweddy's balls immediately comes to mind. I think they were rum balls. Schweddy balls. It was hilarious.

                                                                                                                                                              1. Kafta.....an Arabic meatball or cigar shape

                                                                                                                                                                ... they consist of balls of minced or ground meat, beef or lamb and mixed with spices and/or onions. we often in our family put pinenuts/pignoles and burghul wheat.

                                                                                                                                                                1. Falafel,
                                                                                                                                                                  sauerkraut balls (Akron Ohio specialty)
                                                                                                                                                                  German potato dumplings
                                                                                                                                                                  Danish wedding cakes

                                                                                                                                                                  1. B-52 Balls....delicious!!

                                                                                                                                                                    2 c finely crushed vanilla wafers
                                                                                                                                                                    1 c powdered (icing) sugar
                                                                                                                                                                    1/4 c almond paste
                                                                                                                                                                    2 1/2 tbls Kahlua
                                                                                                                                                                    2 1/2 tbls Grand Marnier
                                                                                                                                                                    2 1/2 tbls Baileys Irish Cream
                                                                                                                                                                    2 tbls white corn syrup
                                                                                                                                                                    10 - 12 oz semi sweet chocolate
                                                                                                                                                                    2 c finely crushed toasted almonds

                                                                                                                                                                    In a bowl mix wafers, sugar, almond paste, liquers, syrup. make sure paste is well blended.

                                                                                                                                                                    Press mix into pie plate, refrigerate til firm enough to form balls, approx. 20 mins.

                                                                                                                                                                    Melt chocolate in double boiler over simmering water.

                                                                                                                                                                    Roll mix into small balls, stick with toothpick, dip into melted chocolate coating evenly.

                                                                                                                                                                    Roll gently in toasted almonds then place on large trays to harden.

                                                                                                                                                                    Store in airtight containers in fridge. Serve at room temperature. Don't eat and drive.