Ask the experts how to build a better meatball, and the answers generally are a pretty underwhelming, "It depends."
It's more than a case of chefs adding their personal touch to recipes. It also depends on which culture they draw their inspiration from.
The meat? Anything from turkey to tofu. The binder? Pureed rice, breadcrumbs, cheese, pulpy potatoes, an egg or two, and cream all can do the trick. Cooking? Fry, bake, braise. Maybe, a combination.
"It's all about personal taste," said Koren Grieveson of Avec restaurant in Chicago. "There is no secret science."