Before going to San Luis Obispo recently, I was looking on-line at some restaurants, looking for some fun places to eat. My paralegal, Barbara Smith, suggested F. McLintocks, a long-time steak joint on the north side of the freeway in Pismo Beach, but they call it Shell Beach (750 Mattie Rd, Shell Beach). As I looked at their website I was floored to see they serve this item: "turkey nuts." Then they give a story behind them. "In 1974, while on a trail ride, Bruce Breault was served this delicacy. He and Tunny decided to try them at the Shell Beach Dining House. Tunny recalls his flight to Selma in their Cessna 206 to pick up a load of nuts. Carrying back 1,000 pounds at a time would weigh down the place so bad, he was afraid he wouldn't get off the ground with Selma's short runway. By-Golly, the plane did get off the ground and a FMc tradition was born. Over the years the boys have experimented in the kitchen with different ways to prepare Turkey Nuts, but nothing compared to our traditional "deep fried golden brown" method. Unusual as it may seem, Turkey Nuts are located in the back, between the wings, in the testicle cavity. Despite their anatomical location, we serve up a phenomenal 10,000 pounds a year!"
I had to give these a try. So on Saturday afternoon as we were driving back to San Luis Obispo from a drive north to San Simeon, I called McLintocks and they agreed to give me an order to go. Judy said that she would prefer that I do the ordering. It is a little awkward ordering them. I felt weird calling them "turkey nuts" or "turkey balls" as I've seen them referred to. On the other hand, I thought if I said "turkey testicles" they might not know what I meant. There is wisdom in calling bull testicles "Rocky Mountain oysters." It helps with some of that awkwardness.
For $7.00, we got a pretty good sized order of deep fried, golden brown nuggets and some side cocktail sauce. They are a pretty good size.
They are only a fraction of the size of the Rocky Mountain oysters we ate in Denver (which were also deep fried, but sliced into thin round pieces). But, of course, that's no surprise. The turkey testicles are actually more flavorful than Rocky Mountain oysters and have a very distinctive flavor. It is not livery, but something akin to it.
After trying a number, I tried some with cocktail sauce. The cocktail sauce covers up the flavor - and perhaps that's the whole idea.
I was surprised to google turkey testicles and find that Huntley, Illinois has a Turkey Testicle Festival every year. Well, I guess now that I've had some, I can skip the festival. I do think I would prefer the Gilroy Garlic Festival instead.