Let's face it, some foods at the State Fair feel more like dares than actual entrees. You hear about them so much that a legend builds around the food that is almost impossible for the food to live up to. The lamb fries at the Holy Land stand in the International Bazaar seem to fit that criteria.
The line for the breaded nuggets stretched deep, and the conversations ranged from, "They're just balls" to "I'll do it if you do it. But you have to do it first." to "It'll be like college. Only breaded."* In fact, the conversation in line conjured images of a gushy, mushy, juicy explosion of God knows what with a hint of tumeric.
The truth, as with most food adventures into the wild side, is far less interesting than what our brains imagine, although tumeric was definitely involved. They're breaded testicles. They're tiny and they're dry. If you've eaten fried tofu, you've pretty much experienced the texture of lamb testicles. Which is not to say they're bad. Not at all. It was subtle, well-seasoned Middle Eastern fare that paired really well with a few cold Summits. Honestly, if someone were offered the lamb fries and then asked to name what they were eating, it's hard to imagine that they'd come up with testicles.
Although judging by the reaction of one State Fair goer, that didn't matter one bit. When she learned that what she had just eaten were testicles and not potatoes, she gagged into a garbage can and started to scream over and over again, "I didn't know! I didn't know!" It was as if she were about to be arrested by the food police.
*That last one wasn't spoken but was definitely thought by someone.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Minneapolis & St. Paul dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.