In the 19th century, the only guys bad-ass enough to tend sheep in the mountains of Nevada were Basque immigrants. Thanks to them, an “American” culinary oddity was born: the mountain oyster.
According to a recent NYT article, “the yellowed pages of many a family cookbook include recipes for “bildoch pesta,” lamb fest or lamb party, with the ingredients — much to the consternation of outsiders — sometimes obtained with the teeth.”
Anyone who has seen “Funny Farm” knows what the mountain oyster is. But I doubt that more than five of the Americans I know have every actually eaten them. (I will not name you here, but feel free to out yourselves if you like.)
I confess I have never sampled one of these myself, but if I did, I would want it to be in a safe environment with experienced lamb fryers. Anyone want to hit up next year’s Testicle Festival? Don’t worry, instead of harvesting them with our teeth, they will probably fly them in from Australia (which I find rather disappointing).
- View the NYT slideshow of the mountain oyster cook-off
- Read the related NYT article
- Mountain oyster recipe (warning: contains graphic – yet strangely appetizing – photographs of testicles on a grill)
Bon profit, everybody!