Chefs show how to cook testicles at annual contest; Serbian team takes home the Ball Cup
International annual cooking championship held in the Serbian countryside sees one local team win for the second year in a row
Spring rolls, ratatouille and curry were on the menu at a quirky food festival in rural Serbia on Saturday, with one gutsy ingredient in common: animal testicles.
Now in its 15th year, the cheeky “World Testicle Cooking Championship” draws a motley mix of teams – from groups of friends to professional chefs – for a few days of fun in the Serbian countryside.
There they set up cooking camps in a forest, stirring bubbling stews over wood fires as they vied for the coveted “Ball Cup”.
While the testicles – grey in colour and with a kidney-like texture – may spoil some appetites, festivalgoers wax poetic about their taste and alleged aphrodisiac qualities.
“There were some really interesting combinations of flavour … the winner was super, really fantastic,” said Philomena O’Brien, an Australian woman who sat on the three-judge panel that blind-tasted dishes from nearly 20 teams.
“Choosing the best balls is quite a responsibility,” she added with a smile.
The event was started by Ljubomir Erovic, the author of a recipe book called Cooking with Balls who claims testicles boost a man’s libido.
“It’s really an aphrodisiac festival,” he said, before donning a chef’s hat and announcing the winner on stage.
Flares and fireworks lit up the sky after a local Serbian team was crowned the winner, with a team of Japanese curry-makers and a team of French restaurateurs also singled out.
“It was quite challenging to do French gastronomy with testicles,” said a member of the French team, Philippe, who runs a restaurant in Paris.
“But we are happy with the result,” he added, showing off the team’s four-course menu featuring bull testicles with foie gras and chocolate “salty balls”, for which it received a special award.
Milos Kojanic, a 24-year-old from the winning team, said his group also took home last year’s trophy.
The secret to their saucy stews?
“That’s a mystery,” he said.