Friday afternoon, I sat in the Cafe 33 and Steakhouse in Perkins, Oklahoma with my friend Susie. Looking over the menu, I asked, “What are calf fries?”
Susie said, “Testicles. Rocky Mountain Oysters.”
I responded, “huh?”
She said, “Calf testicles. That’s why they call it a ‘swinging steak basket’ it comes with toast and french fries.”
I busted out laughing and the local patrons looked at me like I stepped from a spacecraft. Nicole, the waitress stopped to take our drink order and she confirmed that sure enough, calf fries are indeed sliced bovine testicles served with a special dipping “balls’ sauce”.
I said, “I’ve eaten fish lip stew and fish eyeballs in the Philippines. I’ve snacked on grasshoppers, waterbugs and crickets in Cambodia. I’ve eaten foods that I could not pronounce in South Korea, and I’ve eaten squirrel and rabbit pot pie at home. Why Yes, I’ll take the Swinging Steak Basket with extra ball sauce please.”
Our plates arrived, and Nicole said, “Each May we have the annual Calf Fry Festival.” I nearly choked. Apparently, it’s a big deal. She continued, “we just call it the ‘testicle festival’ and there are lots of bands and food. Some folks say our calf fries have too much breading, but others like it. What do you think?”
I dipped my calf fry into the mystery spicy sauce, and peered at it dubiously. After a bite I replied, “they’re thinner than I imagined and not chewy like I thought.”
Susie grinned and ate her reuben sandwich. I told the waitress, “I castrated 11 goats a few months ago. If I had known there was a market for this delicacy, I wouldn’t have just tossed them on the ground.”
She laughed and as I ate another bite of my swinging steak basket.
I said, “ya know, they don’t taste nutty at all.”
If you ever find yourself in Oklahoma, try the Swinging Steak Basket, or go out on a limb and order the lamb fries. The food at the Cafe 33 is great and the service is quick. They also have cakes, pies and cinnamon rolls for dessert.
Dipping Sauce ingredients:
Ketchup, Mustard and Tabasco.