Saturday, March 5, 2011

Rocky Mountain Oysters (A Crass Mountain Tale)

A friend of Aaron's from Texas came to visit this weekend.  We took his family out to eat at a restaurant here called The Fort.  It's a replica of an 1800's fur trading fort.  They serve all kinds of wild game like bison, rattlesnake, quail and elk. 

When you enter the courtyard there is a huge campfire that guests gather round.  There was a lady there who was rather toasty (and not from the fire if you catch my drift).  She was very intrigued by Drew and all of his knowledge (that he was volunteering to all who would listen) regarding forts.  She saw Gabriel quietly staring into the fire and said, "You must be the big sister."

Gabriel is a beautiful boy.  With his full ruby lips and eyelashes that women would kill for, I get could mistake him for a girl.  He was wearing a camouflage jacket with the hood up.  He pulled his hood back to reveal his uber short haircut and said, "No.  I'm the big brother."  To his credit, he was unoffended.  He may have recognized that the lady was just not quite right...


As we walked into the restaurant Drew announced "Wow!  Candles!"  I promise we have taken the boys to dining facilities with candles before.  Good grief.

Once seated we enjoyed a serenade by a flutist (floutist?) who played the soft winds of  Native American tradition.  Later a Buffalo Bill looking character came by.  He was dressed all in leather, rifle tucked under one arm and hatchet tucked into his belt.  Gabriel and Drew riddled him with questions regarding his weaponry.

Aaron ordered us an appetizer sampler plate.  Our server brought it to the table and described each item.

"You have peanut butter stuffed jalapenos, Huckleberry sauce for dipping, guacamole, buffalo sausage, tongue and here," he gestures to the middle of the plate, "are Rocky Mountain Oysters.  Enjoy"

"Excuse me," I alert him with a raised finger, "I'm assuming those are not oysters?"

"No ma'am."

"May I ask what they are then?"

He looks up the table at the rest of the guests.  I can see Aaron shaking his head "no" in my peripheral.

"Do you really want to know?"


"They are bison testicles."

"Ah.  Thank you."

"Enjoy ma'am."

The first thing any of us went for were the peanut butter stuffed jalapenos.  These are served cold.  I believe it's a pickled jalapeno, sliced in half and filled with peanut butter.  The result is something like a spicy Thai peanut sauce.  YUM!!  The buffalo sausage was no big deal.  The guac was excellent! 

Then we all sort of hemmed and hawed around the tongue and "oysters."  The funny thing was that most of our trepidation was towards the tongue.  The waiter came by to see how we liked things so far.

"Very good.  We love the jalapenos!"

"And how does everyone like the 'oysters?'"  I looked at the deep fried, grape-sized bits.

"I'm guessing these were not tiny bison?"

"No ma'am.  Believe me, they dice these down to bite size."

One of our guests noted that it was either that or they actually belonged to well hung squirrels.  After some consideration I decided that I'm no stranger to "oysters."  Plus they are deep fried.  Being from the birth place of the corn dog and fried Twinkies, I am well versed in the benefits of deep fried batter.  With these things in mind I forked an "oyster" and plunged into some Huckleberry sauce.


After everyone had gone around and tasted them we all stared at the tongue.  This looked like brisket served on Melba toast.  Oddly enough, it tasted like brisket on Melba toast!  It was delicious!

Later I got a text from a friend in Texas:  " were the 'oysters?'"

"They were OK," I responded, "No big deal.  As always, the tongue was better."

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