In 1949, the butchers' union in the place where I came from, held a contest to make ground beef more popular, and one clever person came up with the slogan ´Wednesday, meatball day´. Marketing people, who weren't called marketing people yet because that profession also didn't exist as such, received the slogan with great enthusiasm. And it turned out to be a winner and a permanent one even though we no longer eat meatballs on Wednesdays.
Why is Wednesday ground beef day, you might ask. But back in the day when we didn't have fridges and freezers, every bit of food had to be consumed immediately. The butchers usually received new animals on Monday from the slaughterhouse, which were butchered the same day with the best cuts are made available on Tuesday. On Wednesday, traditionally, the rest of the animal was ground up into minced meat and that had to be sold immediately too.In Italy meatballs are called ´polpette´ and are generally made in the same way as our meatballs, only a bit smaller. Sometimes a region can give it a nice twist, the recipe below comes from Piedmonte and is called 'Doss e Brusch' locally, meatballs in sweet and sour sauce, or as they say in Italy 'Polpette in agracolce'.