Testicles : Balls in Cooking and Culture

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This sparkling book was first published in France in 2005 and has been magnificently translated into English by the food writer and historian Giles MacDonogh. It is part cookery book, part dictionary and part cultural study of testicles: human and animal. Their culinary use is the bedrock, although it would be impossible to ignore the wider implications of these anatomical jewels. Blandine Vie has a delicious way with words, and a delight in exploring the furthest corners of our vocabulary, both scurrilous and euphemistic.The book opens with a discussion of balls, of pairs, of virility and the general significance thereof; it then delves more deeply into the culinary use of testicles, in history and across cultures; there follows a recipe section that ranges the continents in search of good dishes, from lamb's fry with mushrooms, to balls with citrus fruit, to the criadillas beloved of bullfighters, and Potatoes Leontine, stuffed with cocks' stones. (There are, however, no recipes for cannibals.) To close, there is an extensive dictionary or glossary, drawing on many languages, which illustrates the linguistic richness that attaches to this part of the body. It is in this section particularly that the ingenuity and intelligence of the translator is on display as he converts the French original into something entirely accessible to the English reader.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 157.48 x 231.14 x 17.78mm | 385.55g
  • Blackawton, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 1903018838
  • 9781903018835
  • 349,545

About Blandine Vié

Blandine Vie is the author of many cookery books in France. Giles MacDonogh has written extensively on the history of food (especially his biographies of Grimod de la Reyniere and Brillat-Savarin) as well as on the history of Germany.show more

Table of contents

Having a Ball and a Little Mythology of Testicles. Admissible evidence: a little anatomy. TESTICULTURAL FOREPLAY: Myths and legends; A Swinging Life; Biblical Undergarments; The Sporran: a little Scots Purse designed to conceal that which you are not supposed to see; The Naming of Parts - the Great Taboo; The Hidden Taste of Words; The Koran's idea of heaven. A SHORT ETYMOLOGY: Testicles - Pope Joan's Balls; Cullions; Purses; Euphemistic and Prudish Expressions; The Symbolism of Silence: Are they Things or not?; All or nothing?; Less than nothing and 'non sunt'; Scientific terms; Common and facetious nicknames; The Symbolism of Numbers; One - better than nothing but hardly Christian; Two, and binary symbolism; Three?; Metaphors; Knackers; Do you know you have lovely nuts?; Epicurean Metaphors; Metonyms: when the container becomes the contents; Hangers and other baubles; Musical instruments, big dongs and little clanging dongers; Accessories and old friends; Testicles and Virility - Hopeful Italians, Initiation Belgian style; Words to evoke value; Superlatives. SWEET NOTHINGS: Reproductive Organs - Saints Cullions; Castration - Trophy; Symbols and Myths relating to testicles in the Kitchen; The Orgies of Ancient Rome - A Brace of Balls for Castor and Pollux; Rabelaisian repasts; Court Diners and the High Water Mark of Testicles; The Turn of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries - Sex and gastronomy hang together; The Rise and Fall of a common dish - La Pena criadillas: the Society for Knacker Noshers; Conclusion. WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS THAT FEATURE 'THEM': A few bollockings; The Odd One Out; Ballsy vowels; Balls-ups; Kool - Francoise Sagan's minty fags; A hermaphrodite Porsche; The Hazards of Criadillas; The Rockingham China or how to achieve Golden Balls; Testi - cucul - es/A Stupid Pillock; Your bollocks or your life; Politically Correct; A few spoonerisms drawn from a massive anthology. THE UNDERBELLY OF CULINARY CURIOSITY: Fry, criadillas, gonads, white kidneys and other little 'things'. LEXICON OF ANATOMICAL, CULINARY AND FANTASTIC TERMS TO DESCRIBE EDIBLE TESTICLES: In other tongues; A little supplementary vocabulary; For a better understanding of - things!; Castration - castrating rams, castrating cocks, castrating cocks (second version); A little savoir-faire; A description; Lambs' fry or rams' purses; Kids' balls; Slabs, gonads or criadillas from a bull or a calf; Foals' testicles; The fry of a boar pig or a piglet; Wild boars' balls; Cocks' testes; Skinning them prior to cooking them; Protocol; Lambs' fry or rams' purses; Criadillas; Wild boars' balls - Deep-freezing fry drying and cooking fry in batter; Cock's testes. RECIPES: Lambs fry or rams' purses; Kids' balls; Slabs, gonads or criadillas from a bull or a calf; Wild boars' balls; Cock's testes; Just this once - it is going to be a bollocks in the end!; Cocktail; The recipe as testicle tease; The deceptive recipe; The recipe that begins as a balls-up; Magic recipes. APPENDIX: Lexicon of words to designate male testicles.show more