The culinary arts often feature rare, unheard of and even extreme ingredients in the constant search for incredible flavour – and one Maltese man’s recent dish proves that nothing should be overlooked, especially if you are a ballsy type of chef.
“I bought these for less than €5 – and I’m sure the bull would be deeply offended if he knew how much they were because I’m sure they were priceless for him,” David Vella said as he shared images of bull’s testicles stew, aka Stuffat tal-Bajd tal-Barri.
“When I was little, I used to hear my uncle and other people mentioning on how delicious this particular stew tastes, and that it used to be cooked fairly frequently long ago. To tell you the truth, since I was only little, I did not know what they were because I used to thing only hens had ‘bajd'” he joked.
“But my mother never cooked them, and I never got the opportunity to taste it from somewhere else,” he continued.
That was until he walked into a butcher’s shop and saw a perfectly good pair ready to be cooked waiting just for him.
Vella explained that he used an old recipe given to him by an elderly man who used to cook the speciality dish.
“And I thank him for it because the stew turned out really delicious!”
He asked if anyone had ever tried it, leading to a flood of comments from people nostalgically remembering the dish from past times.
“My mother used to marinate them in wine and vinegar then fry them with garlic, we’d go crazy for them,” one woman said.
“My favourite boiling beef,” said another. “They come so good with a little but of herbs.”
Speaking to Lovin Malta, Vella said the stew takes about one hour to cook, and is best accompanied by a glass of wine.
He also noted that in certain parts of the US, they are also considered a delicacy and called Rocky Mountain Oysters, where they are often sliced and deep-fried in batter.
Testicles and other bits of offal are commonly found in cuisines around the world, though testicles are a relatively rarer bit. Calf, lamb, rooster and turkey testicles are eaten all over the world – but locally, bull’s balls have long been considered a favourite.
With so many people praising the flavour of the dish, you might not need to search too hard when looking for a bit of an exotic dish to whip up next time you are in the kitchen – just don’t forget the garlic and herbs.
All photos by David Vella
Have you ever tried this special dish? Let us know in the comments below!