Huntley Turkey Testicle Festival draws big crowd
By 2 p.m. Wednesday, 475 people had descended on Huntley to nosh on a turkey part you don't normally see at the dinner table.
The 30th annual Turkey Testicle Festival, held at the Parkside Pub downtown, serves them up following a secret recipe and breading and deep frying them, said Jeff Lovell, one of the pub's owners. The single-day event is always held the day before Thanksgiving.
Pub workers fried about 1,200 pounds of them, which should be more than enough to go around for the 4,000 people who are expected to attend. There was no way they were going to make more than that, Lovell said.
"It's not a food I want anything left over with," Lovell said.
With the temperatures peaking in the mid-50s Wednesday, Lovell was hoping to break last year's attendance record of 4,400 visitors.
They're not so much a delicacy as a dare food. They have the texture of fried, greasy mushrooms and taste a little bit like them as well. Lovell says they taste a lot better with ranch dressing or Tabasco sauce.
John Greene, a battalion chief for the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District, likes to give his an extra kick with hot sauce.
"They're not bad, there's just no taste to them," said Greene, who has been attending the festival with fellow firefighters and their wives for 10 years.
First-time festival goers Doug and Betty McMillan of Huntley, preferred to eat theirs plain. Both agreed that it was the wildest thing they'd ever done since touring the Diamond Head Volcano in Hawaii.
"They are better than I thought they'd be," Betty McMillan said.
Doug McMillan said they were OK, but he prefers Rocky Mountain oysters, a fancy name for deep-fried bull testicles.
"Better flavor," he said.
Money raised from the festival will go to support several charities, including the Huntley Jaycees and area youth sports groups.
The festival also included beer and live music. And for those who aren't turkey testicle connoisseurs, there was also pizza, Italian beef and Italian sausage.