A few restaurants and bars in Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Idaho, and Kansas serve Rocky Mountain Oyster as a starter or appetizer. Be aware that these are not oysters, in fact they aren’t even related to an oyster. Rocky Mountain Oysters, sometimes known as Prairie Oysters, are considered by many people to be a true western delicacy. But what are they really? They are that part of male calves that are cut off when they are castrated during branding. This is done so that the cow will grow meatier, and behave less masculine. The part I am talking about is his testicles. That’s right, his testicles are cut off and thrown in a bucket of water. They are then peeled, washed, and cooked up for your pleasure. Like other meats, testicles can be cooked in a variety of ways, however generally those served in restaurants are deep-fried whole. Calf testicles are about the size of a walnut, and will come to your table hot and crispy (although somewhat chewy when eaten), often served with a spicy sauce to dip them in. In the old days of the west, during roundups cowboys and ranch hands just tossed the testicles on a hot iron stove and cooked them until done. I have heard that Rocky Mountain Oysters can also be made from the testicles of other animals, but the ones I have seen on menus in Wyoming and Montana have always been beef. Well, some people will eat anything, so if you want to try something traditional, Rocky Mountain Oysters are just the item for you. But remember, these are not oysters, just plain old testicles.
- Food and Dining