I've come across a few threads asking about different types of offal and variety cuts of meat, so I thought some of you might enjoy this.
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No, no 99 Ranch Market, thank you. I’ve been on the testicle hunt for months now. I even tried to special order them from a butcher in PA, but they never got back to me after our initial conversation (big mistake farm-who-I-won’t-mention, you could have been THE spot for testicles, now I won’t even say your name). So when I saw a few packages of “LAMB BALL” just chilling in the freezer case, I could not pass up grabbing a pair.
As soon as I cut through the wrapping, I was struck by a strong gamy smell. Fortunately, a lot of that seemed to come from the additional blood and fluid in the package. After draining, I barely noticed any off odors from the balls I was left with.
Now a lot of you are probably familiar with rocky mountain oysters, where the testicles are battered and fried. That’s not for me, I didn’t want to hide any flavors in breading, so I went with the pan seared method.
When pan searing or grilling, you don’t have to remove the outer membrane, it’s sort of like a natural sausage casing..just a really, super snappy one. I didn’t care to deal with it and I’ve been trying to practice my knife skills, so I went ahead and removed it.
Once you get rid of the membrane you’re left with something between a scallop and a sweetbread. They’re slippery and malleable, or rather – mushable – you don’t want to squeeze too hard.
For those of you wondering about nutrition values for testicles, they’re actually quite lean. I couldn’t find much for micronutrients, but what I did come across looked pretty good. A 3.5/100g serving of raw testicles is around 135kcal, 3g fat and 26g carbohydrates. Almost like the other, other, other, under white meat.
The consistency again is like a mealy sweetbread, or maybe a medium firm tofu. They’re soft and cut easily. The taste – not nearly as gamy as I would have imagined, I’d say less pungent than liver even. Sure, I knew I was eating lamby nether parts, and my apartment had that unmistakable hint of variety meat, but you know what…I liked them, and I’d eat them again.
Despite my new fondness of grilled testicles, these won’t be a staple in my diet. My method is a bit labor intensive, and they’re actually a bit pricey for a variety cut. That said, I would still recommend anyone give them a try. Even if you’re not an “adventurous” eater, you might be surprised.