Have you ever been sitting at a restaurant, looking over the menu trying to decide what you want, and it hits you like a ton of bricks:
‘I want some balls’
Big, juicy, firm balls in your mouth. So meaty, so full of protein, so much appeal. You just want to take a bite of that big, plump ball, and chew it all up.
We call them rocky mountain oysters, stones, fries, prairie oysters, cowboy caviar (wtf?), sometimes animelles. They’re testicles. Balls, yes, balls. But don’t worry, fellas, these family jewels are from other animals: bulls and roosters, typically.
These guys are certainly a popular, tasty treat in countries across the globe, and are starting to find their footing in the United States. Specialty butchers across the country are marketing testicles as exotic meats, and they’re gaining popularity as a solid source of protein. Some even say that they are an aphrodisiac (we should gnaw on some balls so we can gnaw on some balls).
Chefs focused on sustainability are also working on integrating balls into their menus. Some say that the future of food lies in consuming the whole animal. The fancy, professional chefs call it ‘nose to tail’ cooking, in which consumers take advantage of every little bit, or big bit, of a bull, rooster, or any other animal that we eat as hardcore omnivores.
If you’re really digging this whole testicle thing, take a quick flight over to Serbia to the World Testicle Cooking Championship where you can witness and sample the cooking of the best of the best ball cookers.
Or, better yet, find these exotic jewels yourself and give a recipe a try. Deep fried or grilled? Its up to you.
If I’m going to be honest, I haven’t yet eaten any animal testicles. I don’t know if I’m ready to take that step in the relationship. But if you’re looking for somewhere in New York to give these balls a try, check out Kenka — a funky Japanese spot on St. Marks with quite the exotic menu. Here, you can take a bite out of some turkey testicles, along with some other interesting organ meats.
Get ballsy, guys, I’m sure they’re the next BIG thing.
Bilow, Rochelle. “Chef Dan Barber on the Future of Farm-to-Table.” Bon Apétit. Bon Apétit, 29 May 2014. Web. 28 Feb. 2016.
“Extreme Cuisine: Top 10 ‘exotic’ Tastes – Lonely Planet.” Lonely Planet. Lonely Planet, 28 Jan. 2010. Web. 28 Feb. 2016.
“The Nutrition Of Animal Testicles.” Dietblog. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2016.
Wang, Chichi. “The Nasty Bits: Testicles, Grilled and Fried.” Serious Eats. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2016.