Last week Serbia played host to the 7th Annual World Testicle Cooking Championship – the little town of Ozrem packed out with locals and international gonad enthusiasts to celebrate the cooking and eating of what they like to call ‘white kidneys’. A popular variant this year was kangaroo testicle, joining the already impressive line up of ostrich, camel, bull and boar balls.
The festival organiser said the day was about “fun, food and bravery” and if you fancy a side dish, there is roasted pig or lamb to go along side your testicle moussaka, testicle goulash or pizza. They even hand out ‘most ballsy’ awards – this year honouring Barack Obama in his role as US President.
It makes us look down right tame in comparison. We have a lovely little range of festivals in Queensland for apples and strawberries and seafood. The Greek festival is a brilliant one too – especially when you get to watch one of your best mates get walloped by an 11 year girl on stage in front of hundreds of people in a honey puff eating competition (nice work Samuel).
Noche De Rabones is held in annually in Oaxaca City, Mexio – Night of the Radishes. It dates back to 1897 and still attracts thousands – with farmers beginning special preparations months in advance. It’s a festival for radishes, obviously, where growers painstakingly carve out all kinds of figures and scenes from the root vegetable. I think there’s awesome potential there for a horror movie plot.
Hawaii has it’s annual Waikiki Spam Jam. It’s an entire street festival devoted to spam – as in the pink meat in a can. It honours the seven million cans of spam consumed per year in Hawaii alone – making it the state with the highest spam per person ratio in the whole USA. All the local restaurants put on spam –based specials – the Greek place even makes ‘spamakopita’.
Unsuprisingly, Spam Jam isn’t the only American-based, junk-food related festival – there’s the ‘Cola and Moonpie’ festival in Tennesse and a few others going around – tipping the scale more towards crazy there’s the Annual Road Kill cook off in West Virginia. It basically requires budding chefs to turn potential road kill meats like raccoon, possum and deer into tasty treats. Past dishes have included squirrel gravy over biscuits, teriyaki marinated bear and deer sausages.
The Winter Festival of Thorrablot occurs in Iceland every year and features a huge feast that is famous for featuring unusual foods – items like puffin, pureed sheeps head (‘head cheese’), seal flippers and poison ice shark (which must be rotted and dried before consumption) are just a few dishes that can be sampled.
The Annual World Testicle Cooking Championship was so popular this year, they’re expecting even more international crowds next year and are planning to make the event bigger and better. Watch out Skippy.
***Published by the Courier Mail, 7th Sept 2010