A friend from Wiesbaden, who I used to work with while working in Europe District and who has traveled extensively with me in Europe, traveled with me during this last trip to Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest. Among other things, he is a beer connoisseur, enjoys eating and preparing pork dishes (he actually has a rack of hanging cured meats and sausages in his living room right now), and on the adventurous side, he will try food that is out of the ordinary. What do I mean by this? He has prepared grilled horse meat during a Kentucky Derby party at his place, encouraged me to try haggis and blood pudding during our trip to Scotland, and has countless stories about the "special" dishes he has tried at various locations in Germany and other places. Once in a while, I will try dishes that are different, such as tripe, pork with pork blood, etc. But these are dishes that I am familiar with growing up. The food that I am not as familiar with, I am hesitant to try.
Anyway, at a Budapest Christmas market and after just having finished lunch, noticed another food vendor with the following sign:
There was no need to dare or encourage him. He had to try it out. He ordered a plate full of this Hungarian dish. The rooster testicle stew is the one in the middle.
Although I refused to taste it and ordered a chicken paprika dish instead, my friend gladly shared his dish and placed one rooster ball on my plate. I tried it -- put it in my mouth, took one bite, and quickly swallowed it, followed by a hearty swig of gluhwein (warmed up spiced wine - a common Christmas market drink) to wash it away as fast as possible. Picture of the bowl of stew:
Rooster balls must be a Hungarian specialty because we had noticed a few meat vendors in a indoor market in Budapest selling them. The rooster balls are in the bowl.