From ‘Almost 250,000 IKEA meatballs sold at 10 cents apiece yesterday’, 9 March 2013, Today online
Almost 250,000 meatballs were sold by IKEA yesterday at 10 cents apiece, as it marked the return of its meatballs at its Singapore stores. IKEA had stopped sales of its meatballs last week as a precautionary measure as it awaited DNA testing to confirm that IKEA meatballs sold here do not contain horse meat. This came after meatballs were pulled off IKEA menus in many parts of the world when it was discovered that IKEA meatballs in a European store had tested positive for horse meat.
The 249,375 meatballs sold by IKEA yesterday earned IKEA Singapore a place in the Singapore Book of Records for the ‘Most Number of Meatballs cooked and sold in a day’, according to a statement from IKEA Singapore.
For the whole of yesterday, 96,250 meatballs, weighing 1.54 tonnes, were sold in IKEA’s Alexandra store, while 153,125 meatballs, weighing 2.45 tonnes, were sold in its Tampines store.
According to a 2012 report, the average number of meatballs sold per day is 39,000, which makes the near 4 tonnes worth of 10 cent meatballs a SIXFOLD increase in a single day. From only TWO stores. You could create a meatball landslide with that amount, so imagine the avalanche that would result if the promotion had been on a WEEKEND. Who says Singaporeans don’t have ‘work-life balance’ when thousands can afford to queue up for meatballs on a workday? Many seem to have also forgotten that they once complained about the new recipe last year, when the balls were no longer as ‘firm’ as before. Doesn’t matter if taste or bounciness is compromised so long as it’s dirt cheap, so goes the Singaporean kiasuism mantra even if the meatballs were indeed tainted with horse, which frankly, is an animal that many locals don’t mind eating anyway. Along with mutton, it is one red meat that just about everyone can probably agree on. I, for one, would rather eat horse over, say, dog.
If there’s anything with an appetite for horse it would be our big cats at the Zoo, which in 1985 were fed with racehorse from our Turf Club. I wonder if we’d still gobble hundreds of millions of meatballs if it weren’t an equine scare but something more microscopic. Like faecal bacteria for example. It’s also a typically Singaporean trait to track such events as national record-busters in the form of the ‘Singapore Book of Records’. Being tiny as we are, breaking an island-wide record by blowing up mediocre activities to ridiculous scales doesn’t seem like a big deal. Unlike more impressive feats like ‘World’s Tallest Building’ or ‘World’s Strongest 2 year old’ where one showcases incredible feats of engineering, talent or strength, you have stuff like ‘Largest Mass Crab Walk‘. All you need is an idea of doing something so pointless no one ever thought of replicating it and hundreds of willing volunteers in a bid for charity or dying for silly exercise.
Some records are stating the obvious, like the Largest Garden (Cue the Largest number of people saying ‘Duuh’ at the same time). It’s also the Most Expensive Garden in Singapore (strangely the billion dollar price tag isn’t recorded). The most inexplicable record in my opinion: The most number of NON-SIKHs putting on Patkas together. Is there a ‘Most Non-Indians flipping Roti Prata’ or ‘Most number of Non-Chinese hurling Hokkien vulgarities’ too?
I could lead an event for most people twiddling thumbs at the same time and still earn a place in the book. In the IKEA horse scandal case, all you need to do is mark down an iconic cafeteria foodstuff till it’s almost free of charge, and your record-smashing accomplices will come without any coercion. Just to show how obsessed we are with food and scale, here’s a list of actual eating records from the SBR website. I swear none of these are made up. Singapore, you’ve totally outdone yourself this time. At this rate, we can probably achieve not just a Singapore Record, but a WORLD record for Most Fat people Stuffing their Mouths at one time too. In the meantime, the records keep snowballing – or rather – meatballing.
- Largest number of people drinking herbal soup at the same time (600 bowls)
- Largest Taiyaki (5,555 pieces)
- Longest Swiss Roll (89.5 m)
- Most mooncakes produced in one location (15,915 pieces)
- Most people eating ice cream at the same time (1558 people)
- Longest line of Roti John (32.3 m)
- Most people eating chili crab together (431)
- Most people eating hot dogs together (652)
The last one looks set to be broken if someone finds horse in IKEA’s weiners. 10 cent hotdogs anyone?