Preparing and Cooking Calves’ Fry

Oh yes, you read that right. Calves’ fry, also known as prairie oysters, Rocky Mountain oysters, and animelles in French, are the testicles from a bull calf. And I’m going to show you how to prepare them and cook them.

Now we’re going to see how many fans I really have.

First, the good news. We do not have kosher steers. As Jews, we do not eat neveilah, limbs that have been torn from a living animal. It’s actually a Noahide commandment as well. That means these could not come from the process of castrating bull calves. The other good news, for the bulls I suppose, is that the process of castration does not seem to hurt them in the least. So kosher calves’ fry at least is just another organ meat.

It should come as no surprise to you that chefs dig organ meat. I prefer the term variety meat myself, but I’m comfortable with either. There is something about being able to turn something that other people can’t fathom eating into a dish that is remarkably delicious that chefs can’t resist. And truth be told, if you don’t want to eat it, there’s more for us. Oh, and they were pretty cheap for something this perishable, so there’s that, too.

The first time I was ever offered calves’ fry, it was in Tzfat and I was 13 years old. I passed. Had I only known then what I know now. These are unctuous morsels, and I don’t fling that term around lightly. I prepared four, but could only eat one of them. They’re firmer than sweetbreads, almost as rich as liver, and took to a variety of cooking methods.

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