Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Grillin' up some testicles in Serbia

That's right. Did you know that Serbia is (proudly) home to the first official testicle cooking and eating festival in the world? Usually held at the end of summertime, this fetish food-fest attracts the young, old, beautiful and the ugly for one of the world's strangest delicacies. The village of Borac plays host to "Mudriada", the Olympics for testicle cookers.

This food festival took place for the first time in 2005 and one might say, this type of thing could only happen in the Balkans... Naturally an event like this attracts a lot of attention, soon transforming it into a competition for the best tasting testicles rather than just a celebration of the delicacy.

Almost instantly the village explodes with people, tents, music, dancing and bonfires used to cook the meat on festival day. Bottles of wine, brandy, oils and jars of spices are already lining the tables, so cooks can easily choose their flavour. Cars line up for miles, trying to find parking spots as close to the action as possible. What I think is the real clincher is that ancient Chinese myths say that testicles are the most powerful aphrodisiac (maybe this is why there are so many big Serbian men with their women in tow)!

The cooking starts at noon and the pork, veal, goat ad ram testicles start to grill. My mid-afternoon the cooking finishes and the judging panel makes their decision. After the prizes are awarded the celebrations begin, going long into the night.

One of the great things is that the village isn't far from Belgrade which means that a festival like this is totally accessible for a budget traveller. Wizz Air for example flies to Serbia from London, you just have to keep an eye open for hot travel deals. Trips to the Balkan states are never boring, that's for sure!