TurkeyTesticle Festival Draws Thousands in Illinois

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HUNTLEY, ILL. —Deep fried turkey nuts anyone? Organizers of the 28th annual Turkey Testicle Festival in Illinois said more than 1,000 pounds of turkey nuts were gobbled up by a crowd of about 4,000 people.

The Parkside pub in Huntley said Wednesday’s event featured regulars and first-timers sampling deep fried turkey balls served in cups.

An uneasy expression came over Christine Morris’ face as she chewed her first testicle surrounded by a group of friends.

“I don’t like the texture,” the 48-year-old Johnsburg resident said. “But it was worth the drive.”

Jeff Lovell, owner of Parkside Pub, said many are drawn to the event by the unique taste of the dish.

“The smaller ones are more flavorful,” he said. “Most people compare it to chicken or mushrooms. And really, anything breaded and deep fried can’t be too bad.”

Lovell bought a half-ton of the delicacy from a supplier in Michigan this year.

The beige-colored, kidney bean-shaped, thumb-sized part of a turkey with a spongy consistency won’t make it to many Thanksgiving dinner tables but for the thousands who attend the event it is an annual treat not to me missed.

Some say the event has become an unofficial town reunion. In addition to the food and drinks, there’s live music and T-shirts for sale.

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