Yes you read the title correctly,it is time for the “Testicle Festival” in South Bend Nebraska at the local Round the Bend Restaurant. Some people refer to them as Rocky Mountain Oysters, Calf Fries, or just, calf nuts or balls, but regardless of the name they are the removable reproductive organs of a calf, lamb or even turkey.
In ranching country, or just the midwest they are considered a delicacy. Here at Round the Bend Restaurant they are a sometimes considered a dare, a novelty, and a reason to celebrate and have a party one weekend out of the year. I do have to admit, that after living in the Elmwood-Murdock area this was the first time I had actually eaten Beef Fries. They were actually very good. But when you cover anything in batter and fry it you can make anything taste good.
For eighteen years hundreds of people show up the Friday and Saturday of Fathers Day weekend for bragging rights that they attended this very unique event. Many leave home with a custom T-Shirt. Others leave with one more item checked off their bucket list.
Sometimes an adult beverage makes things go down easier and I’m partial to Mike’s Hard Lemonade. Only this time someone decided I needed the “Harder Lemonade” for this culinary experiment. Being in Nebraska you make friends with everyone and an event like this gives everyone a topic of conversation.
The lady sitting across the table was from Chicago, first time at the nut fest, and she compared them to Schnitzel.If you’re wondering if there is a recipe somewhere, yes there is, but it’s not mine. Check out Cooking on the Sagebrush for authentic back country style cooking or even The Story Lady’s recipe. It’s not just people in Nebraska that enjoy calf nuts. Ree Drummond, the infamous Pioneer Woman talks about nuts, eating nuts, cutting nuts, and even takes pictures of nuts in unusual placements. It’s a way of life in some parts of the country.
You can buy Bull Fries online to cook for yourself, and where else? Amazon. So if you want to try a ranching delicacy, fry up a gag gift for a party, or just act on a dare, go ahead and order some bull fries and tell me how you like them.
So next time you hear of a Testicle Festival, pull up a chair, tuck in your napkin and enjoy gourmet cooking, mid-western style.
BTW: My daughter, who worked as a hostess at Round the Bend, told me they served up 2,300 lbs of testicles and ran out before it was over on Saturday. If you’re looking for the location of Round the Bend it’s located between Omaha and Lincoln, exit 426, head south past the Wildlife Safari Park, “round the bend” and at the top of the hill across from Quarry Oaks golf course.
Here is a video of one of my favorite celebrities, Mike Rowe, eating lamb fries during one of his episodes of Dirty Jobs. Just think, NOTHING goes to waste, agriculture is efficient and one of the least wasteful industrys’. My Mom said everything on the pig is used, except the squeal. So do your part. Eat some nuts.
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