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Balls: La Condesa

Balls: La Condesa
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  • Balls: La Condesa

    Post #1 - February 16th, 2006, 11:25 pm
    Post #1 - February 16th, 2006, 11:25 pm Post #1 - February 16th, 2006, 11:25 pm
    Balls: La Condesa

    Checking out the menu at La Condesa, I scan for words I don’t recognize – “creadillas” pops out at me.

    “Que es esto?” I query.

    “Testiculos del toro,” the signorita replies, blushing just slightly less than I do.

    So that, of course, is what I order.

    Now, the arboreal Josephine has recently challenged us all to speculate upon forbidden foods, and I’d say gonads have got to be one of ‘em. Kidneys, hearts, brains, all would probably go down easier.

    The omnivorous C2 and I have often joked about making the pilgrimage to the Turkey Testicle Festival – but we’ve never had the…nerve.

    So how were the bull balls? Well, they tasted – and had a mouth feel – somewhat like pancreas or thymus, you know, organ-y, with a deep, subterranean tang you’d want to taste only now and again. I’d like to meet a guy who actually likes this dish (and my guess is, it would probably be a guy); it was edible, but it doesn’t seem like a flavor one could crave. But who knows? Different strokes…

    Anyway, I just wanted to share this with the team, and I beg you all (GWiv, I’m talking to you) please, no cheap shot double entendres. With this topic, of course, I could have made a few off-color comments, but I don’t do blue: I’m bigger than that (if you know what I mean).

    David “And I think you probably do” Hammond

    La Condesa
    1003 N. Ashland
    773.276.5121
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #2 - February 16th, 2006, 11:36 pm
    Post #2 - February 16th, 2006, 11:36 pm Post #2 - February 16th, 2006, 11:36 pm
    David Hammond wrote:Anyway, I just wanted to share this with the team, and I beg you all (GWiv, I’m talking to you) please, no cheap shot double entendres.

    Geeeesh, make one salami joke and a guy gets a reputation. :)

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #3 - February 16th, 2006, 11:39 pm
    Post #3 - February 16th, 2006, 11:39 pm Post #3 - February 16th, 2006, 11:39 pm
    HI David!

    Next October let's finally make our pilgrimage to the Turkey Testicle Festival!

    Last summer when they had the human body exhibit at the Science and Industry Museum, I suggested you might want to check out the testicles. I thought it was interesting how little there was to the actual testicles once the drapery was removed.

    The bull testicles you consumed, were they with or without the drapes? (Sorry to be so indelicate, but it was the only family-version way I could potentially inquire)

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #4 - February 16th, 2006, 11:44 pm
    Post #4 - February 16th, 2006, 11:44 pm Post #4 - February 16th, 2006, 11:44 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:The bull testicles you consumed, were they with or without the drapes? (Sorry to be so indelicate, but it was the only family-version way I could potentially inquire)Regards,


    No drapes. They were sliced into bite-sized portions about the size of a 50 cent piece.

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #5 - February 16th, 2006, 11:50 pm
    Post #5 - February 16th, 2006, 11:50 pm Post #5 - February 16th, 2006, 11:50 pm
    HI,

    I believe La Casa de Samuel has a bull testicle offering.

    My Grandfather who lived in Mexico the last half of his life was also a big fan of testicles. In fact my Mom and I tried very hard to get him some Turkey testicles as a gift. Since we were newbies to the establishment, they wouldn't admit to offering any.

    Thanks for the information.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #6 - February 17th, 2006, 7:53 am
    Post #6 - February 17th, 2006, 7:53 am Post #6 - February 17th, 2006, 7:53 am
    David, I can think of one similar, but twice-as-rare delicacy (to some). Maybe you can get some old-school Argentine to make you a parillada completa sometime and touch all the bovine bases at once.
  • Post #7 - February 17th, 2006, 9:24 am
    Post #7 - February 17th, 2006, 9:24 am Post #7 - February 17th, 2006, 9:24 am
    I’d like to meet a guy who actually likes this dish (and my guess is, it would probably be a guy)


    Oh, I don't know about that! Altho from the distaff side, it's usually home-cooked.
    "The fork with two prongs is in use in northern Europe. In England, they’re armed with a steel trident, a fork with three prongs. In France we have a fork with four prongs; it’s the height of civilization." Eugene Briffault (1846)
  • Post #8 - February 17th, 2006, 11:38 am
    Post #8 - February 17th, 2006, 11:38 am Post #8 - February 17th, 2006, 11:38 am
    Though I be shunned and driven from the warmth of the LTH hearth to sup on white meat chicken salad sandwiches, I must confess:

    I was really OK through the initial post - coccooned in culinary objectivity- until the phrase "mouth feel" made its appearance. (Followed hard upon by the verb "slice.") In this context it was too much. Breathing became shallow, blood pressure dipped. Though I invoked the omnivorous angels Steingarten and Bourdain, they abandoned me, at which point my stomach's figurative knees buckled, and I tottered from the field, shamed, sqeamish, over-civilized and defeated.

    My hat's off to the Hat.
    "Strange how potent cheap music is."
  • Post #9 - February 17th, 2006, 11:54 am
    Post #9 - February 17th, 2006, 11:54 am Post #9 - February 17th, 2006, 11:54 am
    I've heard of this food item but not in respect to any place in Chicago (only Latin America). Well, I'm wow'd that Chicago has such a diverse ethnic makeup that the food can be "just like home" in many places.

    As for me, I'm not quite so sure that's the dish for me.
  • Post #10 - February 17th, 2006, 12:35 pm
    Post #10 - February 17th, 2006, 12:35 pm Post #10 - February 17th, 2006, 12:35 pm
    For a full spectrum try the Olean Testicle Festival Usually the first weekend in June. Cattle, turkey and pig.

    Olean, Missouri is about 8 hours from Chicago near Lake of the Ozarks.
  • Post #11 - February 17th, 2006, 12:44 pm
    Post #11 - February 17th, 2006, 12:44 pm Post #11 - February 17th, 2006, 12:44 pm
    strawberrycupcake wrote:Well, I'm wow'd that Chicago has such a diverse ethnic makeup that the food can be "just like home" in many places.


    Do you know if testiculos del toro are common in Mexico? I kind of put them in the class with eyeball tacos -- something eaten in Mexico, but probably not that frequently.

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #12 - February 17th, 2006, 1:52 pm
    Post #12 - February 17th, 2006, 1:52 pm Post #12 - February 17th, 2006, 1:52 pm
    No pictures?
    Bill-Aurora
  • Post #13 - February 17th, 2006, 9:22 pm
    Post #13 - February 17th, 2006, 9:22 pm Post #13 - February 17th, 2006, 9:22 pm
    At the risk of twisting to shopping and cooking, Cermak Produce stores regularly carry beef testicles.
  • Post #14 - February 17th, 2006, 11:11 pm
    Post #14 - February 17th, 2006, 11:11 pm Post #14 - February 17th, 2006, 11:11 pm
    David Hammond wrote:Balls: La Condesa
    So how were the bull balls? Well, they tasted – and had a mouth feel – somewhat like pancreas or thymus, you know, organ-y, with a deep, subterranean tang you’d want to taste only now and again.

    The taste and texture of the Romanian dish, fodoli (pig testicles), was quite similar to veal sweetbreads, without the funky tang Hammond describes. (But then I've been hanging out with the simian crowd, so funky to me is relative). Still, if I'm being completely honest, I have to admit that, even as a woman, the prospect of eating this dish is a bit daunting. I first ate it in the context of a then familiar situation: being the only girl in the group when the table ordered a mixed grill, which included lots of unfamiliar looking bits. It was a matter of stepping up to the plate for the girls' team, so I dug in. Call me crazy, but I have to say, I found the concept of eating brains 10 times more difficult.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #15 - February 18th, 2006, 9:35 am
    Post #15 - February 18th, 2006, 9:35 am Post #15 - February 18th, 2006, 9:35 am
    David Hammond wrote:
    strawberrycupcake wrote:Well, I'm wow'd that Chicago has such a diverse ethnic makeup that the food can be "just like home" in many places.


    Do you know if testiculos del toro are common in Mexico? I kind of put them in the class with eyeball tacos -- something eaten in Mexico, but probably not that frequently.

    Hammond


    Based on the math alone, I'd have to say there is only so common this dish could possibly be, in Mexico or anywhere, to wit: Similar to the eyeballs, there are only two per bull. I'm guessing that's less than a pound of gonads for each bull slaughtered -- or maybe one pound out of several hundred pounds of other edible parts. So even if every available unit were consumed, it would still make up less than 1% of beef consumption.

    (Also, David - If in the future you need any help with double entendres (see your original post), you know how to reach me. I'm there for you.)
    JiLS
  • Post #16 - February 18th, 2006, 10:01 am
    Post #16 - February 18th, 2006, 10:01 am Post #16 - February 18th, 2006, 10:01 am
    JimInLoganSquare wrote:I'm guessing that's less than a pound of gonads for each bull slaughtered -- )

    Jim,

    Reminds me of the joke about the guy who tells his friends about the lunch place next to the Bull Fighting ring. They go expecting baseball size, instead get considerably smaller.

    Waiter shrugs and says, "sometime the bull, he wins"

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #17 - February 18th, 2006, 10:23 am
    Post #17 - February 18th, 2006, 10:23 am Post #17 - February 18th, 2006, 10:23 am
    David Hammond wrote:
    Cathy2 wrote:The bull testicles you consumed, were they with or without the drapes? (Sorry to be so indelicate, but it was the only family-version way I could potentially inquire)Regards,


    No drapes. They were sliced into bite-sized portions about the size of a 50 cent piece.

    ekreider wrote:At the risk of twisting to shopping and cooking, Cermak Produce stores regularly carry beef testicles.


    I've been tempted to pick up sheep, um, "fries" (who comes up with these euphemisms – fries, oysters, etc.?) regularly available at Middle-Eastern grocery stores. A2Fay tells me they are very tasty, having had them growing up in Dubai, prepared by her Dad. They are quite small and have to be processed (i.e., un-draped :) ). Do any Middle-Eastern restaurants serve this (if it's not on the menu, what would one ask for?). I would suspect sheep's orbs are probably milder than bull's balls.

    Hammond, thanks for bringing this up. ;)
  • Post #18 - February 18th, 2006, 10:39 am
    Post #18 - February 18th, 2006, 10:39 am Post #18 - February 18th, 2006, 10:39 am
    JeffB wrote:David, I can think of one similar, but twice-as-rare delicacy (to some). Maybe you can get some old-school Argentine to make you a parillada completa sometime and touch all the bovine bases at once.

    Jeff,

    For those of a do it yourself bent, pizzel is available at La Fruteria, a terrific grocery with an African and Hispanic focus on the far South Side.

    Frozen Beef Pezzel (penis) at La Fruteria
    Image

    La Fruteria has a selection of ReneG's favorite condiment, Shito.
    Image

    An wide array of Matouk's
    Image

    Also Goya and other Hispanic and African spices and sauces.
    Image

    Not to mention the companion soup mix for Pizzel.
    Image

    Lot's of interesting items including, at least that day, Kola nuts.
    Image

    Cow hooves
    Image

    Stock fish and a multitude of pickled items. Pictures which may be found here

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    La Fruteria
    8909 S Commercial Ave
    Chicago, IL
    773-768-4969
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #19 - February 18th, 2006, 4:19 pm
    Post #19 - February 18th, 2006, 4:19 pm Post #19 - February 18th, 2006, 4:19 pm
    While it is true that very few bulls are slaughtered in the United States these days, well over half of the quality beef supply comes from steers. Steers are usually castrated at 5 to 7 months of age with a fair number being done at a time. Judging from the size of the creadillas des res at Cermak, they are a byproduct of bull calves being changed into steers. Granted that it has been a few years since I saw a full-grown bull up close, I think my memory isn't too far off.
  • Post #20 - February 18th, 2006, 6:40 pm
    Post #20 - February 18th, 2006, 6:40 pm Post #20 - February 18th, 2006, 6:40 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Next October let's finally make our pilgrimage to the Turkey Testicle Festival

    Illinois actually has five different annual Turkey Testicle Festivals. None of them are what you'd call food-oriented events. Here's a report on the one in Byron from a few years ago:

    Twenty years of serving nuts
  • Post #21 - February 18th, 2006, 11:46 pm
    Post #21 - February 18th, 2006, 11:46 pm Post #21 - February 18th, 2006, 11:46 pm
    Jim, your point about the relative rarity of certain variety items resonates with me. When I went whole hog (whole bull, really) with a parillada completa in Argentina, I visibly offended my gaucho server by requesting more vacio and chorizo before finishing the true delicacies. There I was, ordering more steak when I had hardly touched my pen.. well, you know.

    The true gourmands know that the singular cuts are best. If you are ever in line for the first carnitas in the morning, you'll see that the abuelitas are up front, jockeying for the ears, snoots, livers, etc.
  • Post #22 - February 19th, 2006, 6:36 pm
    Post #22 - February 19th, 2006, 6:36 pm Post #22 - February 19th, 2006, 6:36 pm
    HI,

    I was in Sahar II today, where they keep all the interesting bits in unlabeled jars in the meat case. They not only had undraped lamb testicles (shaped like oblong eggs), I believe they had bull as well. They also had kidneys, tongue and spleen. I was particularly excited about the spleen because I have a cookbook with several preparations. My friend noticed the woman next to me seemed quite appalled by my gleeful interest.

    Sahar Meat Market No 2
    4829 North Kedzie Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60625
    773-583-6098

    Sahar (Enterprises) opened three weeks ago a small restaurant just a few doors north of the meat market.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #23 - June 28th, 2007, 12:26 pm
    Post #23 - June 28th, 2007, 12:26 pm Post #23 - June 28th, 2007, 12:26 pm
    I've had a bad stomach since Saturday, but when I got up this morning I was feeling better so I kicked off the day with some fried bull's balls from La Condesa. They were chewy, and much improved with a spalsh of guajillo salsa, fibrous. I'm still picking testicle out of my teeth.

    Tomorrow morning, at 10:00 AM, I'll be sharing this taurine treat with Jerry Agar on WLS 890AM. Tune in, won't you.

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #24 - June 28th, 2007, 1:24 pm
    Post #24 - June 28th, 2007, 1:24 pm Post #24 - June 28th, 2007, 1:24 pm
    Huevos de toro con guajillo. Who doesn't nurse back a sick stomach with a heapin' bowl o' gonads in red chile? Ballsy in more ways than one. Uber-machismo. Chingon!
    I'm more from the chicken soup and unbuttered toast school.....may as well announce that I'm donning a hoop-skirt and frilly bonnet so I can sashay around the zocalo...
    I love animals...they're delicious!
  • Post #25 - June 28th, 2007, 1:47 pm
    Post #25 - June 28th, 2007, 1:47 pm Post #25 - June 28th, 2007, 1:47 pm
    David Hammond wrote:I'm still picking testicle out of my teeth.

    Hey, my mom reads LTH..................
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #26 - June 28th, 2007, 8:03 pm
    Post #26 - June 28th, 2007, 8:03 pm Post #26 - June 28th, 2007, 8:03 pm
    David Hammond wrote: I'm still picking testicle out of my teeth.

    Have your dentist call me if he asks for a psych consult after your next visit. It could save a lot of time. :wink:
    Thanks for the heads up on the radio piece, I will tune in tomorrow.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #27 - June 30th, 2007, 12:19 am
    Post #27 - June 30th, 2007, 12:19 am Post #27 - June 30th, 2007, 12:19 am
    we went to the turkey testicle festival in byron a few years ago. it's a biker-centric event. the turkey testicles seem to be more of an excuse for a lot of bikers to make a run to an obscure little town in western IL than anything else.

    they slice the TT's, dredge them in flour and deep fry them. they tasted like....well, turkey....but the texture was more similar to gristly, sinewy turkey skin. they weren't anything wonderful, but not disgusting either.

    all in all, it wasn't a bad day trip. nice fall colors along the way, they had a couple decent blues and classic rock cover bands, we drank some beers, the bikers were fairly welcoming and friendly, and my wife bought me the t-shirt that brags about how i ate turkey testicles, which i wear proudly.
  • Post #28 - June 2nd, 2009, 9:48 am
    Post #28 - June 2nd, 2009, 9:48 am Post #28 - June 2nd, 2009, 9:48 am
    Kevin Pang: a penis aficionado.

    Time for a field trip to Tank?
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #29 - July 6th, 2009, 9:06 pm
    Post #29 - July 6th, 2009, 9:06 pm Post #29 - July 6th, 2009, 9:06 pm
    My brother in law had a great fourth of July party on Saturday that featured about 12 different kinds of sausages (I'm biased, but my favorites were my wife and my homemade brats and my mother-in-law's homemade shrimp and crawfish sausage...)

    The star of the show was deep fried turkey testicles. I think we were all amazed at how large they were. Many were the size of large olives and some were the size of my thumb. I mean, think about that and then think about the relative size of a human head and a turkey head. Who knew!?

    Various seasonings were available, but most people ate them unseasoned. No one seemed to really like them, but no one seemed particularly disgusted by the taste either. I thought there was a distinct livery taste to them, so the whole thing tasted like a mix of turkey and liver.

    Thinking about how many turkeys are processed each year, and how unpopular testicles are, we wondered what happens to all of those that don't end up in one of the few festivals or back yard bbqs. Dog food, I'd imagine.
    Last edited by Darren72 on July 6th, 2009, 9:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #30 - July 6th, 2009, 9:42 pm
    Post #30 - July 6th, 2009, 9:42 pm Post #30 - July 6th, 2009, 9:42 pm
    Darren72 wrote:Thinking about how many turkeys are processed each year, and how unpopular testicles are, we wondered what happens to all of those that don't end up in one of the few festivals or back yard bbqs. Dog food, I'd imagine.


    Or sausage. Turkey hot dogs. Why not?
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”

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