Having A Ball at The Testicle Festival
- Situated in Texas, 165 miles out of Dallas.
- The town has a tiny population of just 828 over a land area of 1.7 miles.
- Bob Lilly, a Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive tackle for the Dallas Cowboys from 1961–74, was born in Throckmorton in 1939
- Famously it is known for the ‘Testicle Festival’, ‘TestyFest’ or officially as The Rocky Mountain Oyster Festival
Throckmorton, Texas is located in the middle of ranch country and full of hard working people who are ready for a good time and know how to cook. At The Rocky Mountain Oyster Festival there are campers and smokers as far as the eye can see. The smell of BBQ is in the air, and the immediate need for a cold one overcomes you as you step out of your truck.
Mack Pirtle has been running the Rocky Mountain Oyster Festival with various partners, including the Throckmorton County BBQ Association, for 10 years now. Ladies and gents let me tell you, Mack knows how to show you a good time! He’s arranged for two days of cooking contests including ‘Tastes Like Chicken’, which features any and every kind of food that has been said to taste like chicken. Alligator gumbo, turkey meatballs, rattlesnake gumbo, frog legs, boudin balls, and green chili pork tamales, which seemed to be the crowd favorite, were all entries this year.
First up on Saturday morning at 10:00am…the Bloody Mary Contest, in honor of Mack’s dad. His favorite thing to do was walk around, camp to camp, tasting everyone’s different variations of the cocktail. There are Tito’s Vodka bottles everywhere! Everyone has been up and tending to their smokers for a while, but it sure looks like they could use a Bloody Mary after the party they had last night. If you ask me, it takes a healthy portion of pepper and horseradish, a long celery stick, and quality vodka to make a good Bloody Mary. I like to feel the burn after my first sip.
It’s time to hop into the judges’ seats for the next few contests! We’re judging calf fries, pinto beans, and baby back ribs. If you’ve never tried calf fries, a.k.a. Rocky Mountain Oysters, you’ve got to step out of your comfort zone and try them. Essentially, calf fries are what’s left over when you turn a male calf into a steer, then dipped in a batter of your choice and fried like catfish. Most of the entries were battered in cornmeal or flour, but probably the most unique entry was battered in oats. For me, the cornmeal batter won out since it’s taste and texture were the most like fried catfish. The judges were already full after judging this one with 20 entries and lots of free beer to wash them down.
The contestants created so many delicious and different versions of baby back ribs. This was by far the hardest contest to judge. Pets and little ones were even reaching for a bite. The ribs were so tender, meat was falling off the bone, and the variety of BBQ sauces was amazing. Of course, I’m partial to the spicier sauces, but to each their own.
Now, let’s talk brisket…big, juicy, melt-in-your-mouth brisket. The County Liners were nice enough to let us try theirs since we weren’t judging. Oh man, it was delicious! When I’m eating brisket, I’m looking for juicy, not dry. This brisket was succulent.
What about dessert? The rules required it to be cooked in a Dutch oven. Everyone’s fighting to find a place at the judges’ table for this one. The chocolate cherry cake and blackberry cobbler look pretty good!
Other items available for everyone to try at the festival included homemade cheese-filled bologna and green chili and brisket pizza. The 2011 Rocky Mountain Oyster Champions are selling ribs for a good cause: local Briley Hostes who has leukemia.
People coming together, cooking good food, and celebrating life in the country. That’s what this festival is about. My hat is off to you Mack and Laura. You did an amazing job putting together the 2012 Rocky Mountain Oyster Festival. We had a great time and left full!
More official photos below:
To read more from Morgan, visit her blog http://indulgeindallas.blogspot.co.uk/