In the past, no part of the animal or poultry was wasted on slaughter. People made use of feet, wings, blood, ears, noses, necks, stomachs, and offals. Testicles were included in the list, though ancient Greek and Byzantine physicians and doctors were not so fond of them. They believed that they are smelly, bad juiced and less easily digested, apart from those of very young pigs and cockerels (particularly of cockerels that have been fatten on grain). But if cooked properly they were considered nourishing (Galen, On food and diet, Testicles). The truth is that people ate them with much enjoyment, either on their own or with other offals, whatever physicians and doctors said. Besides, it was a common belief that eating testicles boosted a man’s libido and strength. As for the testicles from cockerels, they had a great gourmet reputation.
Today, testicles are not popular in the menus of the households, though other offals are always a big hit. On contrary, meat taverns still list them as one of their favorite meze and butchers sell them using various names: ameletita (unmentionables), tricksters (katergarides), white caviar (aspro haviari), the tender ones (trifera). The testicles of cockerel are called eggs.
1 pair calf testicles
1 pair lamb testicles
½ cup chopped onion
4 tbs olive oil
thyme or oregano
salt and ground pepper
With a very sharp knife remove the skin that surrounds each testicle. Cut into thick slices and place them in a bowl with enough white wine to cover them; cover and let sit 2 hours. Strain well. Heat 1 tbs olive oil in a frying pan; saute the onion; add 3 tbs olive oil, ½ cup water, the calf testicles, salt and cook for 5 minutes. Add the lamb testicles and cook for 3 minutes. Add lemon juice and cook until softened, adding water if needed. Sprinkle with thyme or oregano and black pepper cook for a second and serve on a small platter.