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Matt Johnson, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Matt Johnson, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Chew on These 5 Facts About Rocky Mountain Oysters

Matt Johnson, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Matt Johnson, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

October 5 (today!) is Rocky Mountain Oyster Day, both a celebration of the unique delicacy (we’ll get to that in a moment) and a wry commentary on the proliferation of national food recognition days: The Denver Post reporter Allyson Reedy essentially made the idea up earlier this year and had a food calendar guru acknowledge it as a regional holiday in Colorado. Since we can’t let this occasion pass without comment, take a look at some quick facts about this acquired taste.

1. IT’S REALLY BULL TESTICLES DAY.

“Rocky Mountain Oyster” is a bit of misdirection, as the delicacy is actually not an oyster at all, but testicles from sheep, bulls, or pigs that can be prepared in a variety of ways. (Breaded and fried might be the most popular.) Why the oysters label? Because testicles are rather slimy when raw. And probably don't sound as tempting when written on a menu.

2. AT LEAST ONE COLORADO RESTAURANT IS DEVOTED TO THEM.

Eating “tendergroin” is less taboo in the west, where a variety of “nut festivals” have sprung up. For year-round enjoyment, Bruce’s Bar in Severance, Colorado has carved out a niche as the premier place to try a plate. Cartoon bulls dot the exterior, some of which are crossing their legs in mock distress. Their slogan? “Come to Bruce’s and have a ball.”

3. THEY TASTE LIKE CHICKEN.

Local public radio affiliate KUNC dispatched reporter Luke Runyon to try the oysters for the first time in 2016. He went to Bruce’s and tried a sampler of bison, lamb, and beef. Declaring them “surprisingly juicy,” he thought the bison tasted liked chicken but that the beef was “full of a unique flavor.”

4. YOU CAN GET THEM AT MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL GAMES.

Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies, in Denver, Colorado.
Brian Bahr/Getty Images

In Colorado, at least. Among the concessions at Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies, are Rocky Mountain oysters. The balls have been declared the “Dodger Dog” of Colorado.

5. THERE’S AN EATING CONTEST FOR THEM.

Since 1982, Clinton, Montana has been home to the Testy Fest, a ribald party featuring wet clothes contests (for both men and women) and, more notably, a testicle eating contest. The defending champion is Matt Powers, the festival’s founder, who is said to have lost only a handful of times in over a decade of competition. In 2015, Vice reported he polished off over two pounds of testes in under four minutes.

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The World’s First Totoro-Themed Restaurant Is Coming to Thailand
StudioCanal
StudioCanal

Japan’s upcoming Studio Ghibli theme park will not open for another few years, but animation fans in Asia will soon have another destination where they can get their Hayao Miyazaki fix. Thailand will soon be home to a Totoro-themed restaurant, SoraNews24 reports.

May’s Garden House Restaurant in Bangkok is the first officially licensed restaurant inspired by Miyazaki’s classic film My Neighbor Totoro. The restaurant features Miyazaki-themed decor, like a giant Totoro figure that sits in the dining room, as well as menu items inspired by the characters, such as steamed buns shaped like Mini Totoros. The tables are adorned with figurines of Totoro, Mei, Sootballs, the Catbus, and other characters from the movie. While they aren't completed yet, the restaurant plans on adding a children’s playground, an orchid greenhouse, and various other elements before the grand opening.

Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki helped develop the concept for the restaurant, and he personally designed its sign. He also designed two exclusive new Studio Ghibli characters for the restaurant, Colko and Peeko (who you can see above).

While it has been open on a trial basis since mid-April, May’s Garden House is set to officially open at the end of May. Until then, Miyazaki uber-fans will have to content themselves with dining at the Straw Hat Cafe, the more general Studio Ghibli-themed restaurant at the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo.

[h/t SoraNews24]

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McDonald's May Be Getting Rid of Its Plastic Straws
Philippe Huguen, AFP/Getty Images
Philippe Huguen, AFP/Getty Images

First Seattle and then the Queen. Could the Golden Arches be next to join the anti-straw movement? As Fortune reports, McDonald's shareholders will vote at their annual meeting on May 24 on a proposal to phase out drinking straws at the company's 37,000-plus locations in the U.S.

If passed, the fast food behemoth would join the ranks of other governments and businesses around the world that have enacted bans against straws in an effort to reduce plastic waste. Straws are notoriously hard to recycle and typically take hundreds of years to decompose.

McDonald's is currently in the process of removing plastic straws from its roughly 1300 outlets in the UK. However, McDonald's board of directors opposes the move in the U.S., arguing that it would divert money from the company's other eco-friendly initiatives, The Orange County Register reports. This echoes comments from the plastic industry, which says efforts should instead be focused on improving recycling technologies.

"Bans are overly simplistic and may give consumers a false sense of accomplishment without addressing the problem of litter," Scott DeFife of the Plastics Industry Association told the Daily News in New York City, where the city council is mulling a similar citywide ban.

If the city votes in favor of a ban, they'd be following in the footsteps of Seattle, Miami Beach, and Malibu, California, to name a few. In February, Queen Elizabeth II was inspired to ban straws at royal palaces after working with David Attenborough on a conservation film. Prime Minister Theresa May followed suit, announcing in April that the UK would ban plastic straws, cotton swabs, and other single-use plastic items.

It's unclear how many straws are used in the U.S. By one widely reported estimate, Americans use 500 million disposable straws per day—or 1.6 straws per person—but it has been noted that these statistics are based on a survey conducted by an elementary school student. However, plastic straws are the fifth most common type of trash left on beaches, according to data reported by Fortune.

[h/t Fortune]

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