Rocky Mountain Oysters

Out of embarrassment, politeness, sexual panic, or a sense of humor, testicles destined to be eaten are rarely called by their proper name. Rocky Mountain oysters is the most popular euphemism, but they also are known as prairie oysters, swinging beef, tendergroin, calf fries, and cowboy caviar. Rarely found outside the West and Great Plains, Rocky Mountain oysters tend to take the role of hors d’oeuvres, usually served deep-fried in bite-size pieces with cocktail sauce. Historically, they were a treat enjoyed by cowboys at the end of a day of castrating young male bovines. Pop culture has mined a nice vein of comedy from a tenderfoot’s misunderstanding of the term, as expressed by Baxter Black’s poem “The Oyster,” in which a cowboy squirms as an eastern lady tells him how she likes to smash oysters with a stone, and in the movie Funny Farm, where Chevy Chase sets the town record for eating calf fries before he learns the painful reality of what they are.

Restaurants With This Dish

Exterior at The Pepper Pod in Hudson, CO
The Pepper Pod


Buckhorn Exchange Porterhouse
Buckhorn Exchange



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