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.

Wisconsin Brewery Rolls Out a Candy Corn Beer

iStock.com/AleksandarNakic
iStock.com/AleksandarNakic

Move over, pumpkin ale. A brewery in the Milwaukee area has brewed up some candy corn beer just in time for Halloween. According to WMUR News 9, the sugary cream ale will be served on tap at the Westallion Brewing Company in West Allis, Wisconsin, throughout October.

The divisive confection is typically made from sugar, corn syrup, gelatin, and artificial coloring, but the brewery decided to make its own flavoring. “Instead of smashing up some candy corns and throwing them in our beer, we made our own candy corn out of less beer-destructive ingredients and threw them into our beer!” the brewery said in a Facebook post. “At the base, we created a cream ale using lactose sugars to keep some sweetness, but added Simcoe hops to create a bit of a bite and a balance (and maybe help remind us that it’s still beer?).”

While candy corn beer is likely to be less popular than its seasonal pumpkin counterpart, other breweries have taken on the challenge in the past. In 2016, The Star Tribune reported that a candy corn imperial ale was “scary popular” at Urban Growler, a microbrewery in St. Paul, Minnesota. "It started as a joke three years ago when we needed to come up with a fall beer," co-owner/master brewer Deb Loch told the paper. "It went over so well that we had to make it every year."

Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, Florida, has also made a Candy Corn IPA in the past, and one brave soul sought advice from the Homebrewtalk.com community in 2009 on how to brew an appropriate beer for a “Hate Candy Corn Party.” Some inspiration for your next Halloween bash, perhaps?

[h/t WMUR]

Find the Best Wine to Pair With Your Favorite Halloween Candy

iStock/vadimguzhva
iStock/vadimguzhva

When you're a kid, Halloween is all about the candy. Unfortunately, the more sophisticated palate that often comes with adulthood can dampen the former thrill of a holiday that’s largely about cheap scares and even cheaper candy.

Thankfully, the folks at Vivino, a popular wine app, have found a way to help elevate the Halloween candy game (and with it, your joy). Their “Halloween Candy and Wine Matchmaker” pairs popular candies, from Skittles to Swedish Fish, with wine selections, to make sure your many treats complement one another.

As Vivino founder Heini Zachariassen told The Huffington Post, "Our candy and wine matchmaker is a fun way for our users to learn and talk about wine in a way that feels relatable and fun. Besides, Halloween is scary enough, we don't think picking a wine needs to be."

The best news of all? Many of the wines and candies have multiple pairing options—which means you can try out different flavor combos faster than you can say “trick or treat.”

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