Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wince if you gotta

My grandfather loved mountain oysters. My grandmother would slice 'em thin, coat 'em in flour, and fry 'em until they were golden brown. I always thought them oysters looked like fried fish - good fried fish - but I wouldn't eat 'em for nothing. Still won't.

In May 2000, I went - nay, I was practically dragged - to a family "reunion" in Montana which involved not a single blood relative of mine -- the less I say about said gathering the better. I had to fly into Seattle and drive in a rental car to the western edge of Montana. Whilst driving through Idaho, I snapped several pics of a billboard inviting locals and visitors to attend a "Testicle Festival." The pics are tucked away somewhere, where I don't know.

I couldn't help but think about those billboards when I read this (trés intéressant, n'est-ce pas?):

The judges gathered around the pool table at the Union Brewery Saloon, their palates attuned despite thick nicotine haze. They were here to assess the taste, texture, appearance and creative flair of a not-for-the-faint-of-heart culinary tradition known as the mountain oyster — the Wild West on a plate.

A Feast of 'Oysters' Of all the country’s gastronomic competitions, from "Top Chef" to pies at the county fair, perhaps none compare to the challenge facing the harried chefs assembled here in a parking lot for the 18th annual International Comstock Mountain Oyster Fry. Classically dipped in cornmeal and then fried, or artfully concealed in scrambled eggs, bordelaise sauce or sushi, these oysters were not of the Chesapeake or bluepoint variety but, rather, a cornerstone of Western ranching culture involving testicles from gelded lambs and calves.

Read the rest here.

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