What Is a Famous State Food in Montana?

Rocky Mountain oysters are a famous state food in Montana. The dish is viewed as a traditional cowboy fare and is featured at festivals in the Northern Rockies town of Clinton and in Virginia City, Mont. The term “oysters” in the dish’s name is a another name for the actual main ingredient, which is bull calf testicles.

Rocky Mountain oysters are usually prepared by deep frying the peeled testicles after they have been coated in flour, salt and black pepper. They are considered an appetizer and served with a cocktail sauce. The dish is also known by other euphemistic terms, such as “Montana tendergroins,” “cowboy caviar” and “bull fries.”

The testicles are not removed from bull calves solely for the purpose of human consumption. Castration is a common practice in animal husbandry and veterinary medicine. The procedure is performed on bull calves for temperament alteration, breeding control and as an aid in developing skeletal muscles more suitable for beef production.