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DeRushaEats: Lamb Testicles


I’ll try anything. Once.

And let me be the first (of everyone who writes about food in this town) to write about my experience eating the newest food at the Minnesota State Fair, the lamb fries.

“They’re called fries, because they’re fried,” Sam Wadi, the chef at Holy Land’s Northeast Minneapolis main restaurant, told me.

But they’re called lamb fries because who’s gonna step up and order “lamb testicles” or “lamb balls.”

Well, I would, but that’s besides the point.

Holy Land Deli has a great outpost in the Fair's International Bazaar, and I think the Summit Beer-on-a-stick would go quite nicely with these little guys.

Wadi told me he had to go to New Zealand to get the 3,000 pounds of lamb testicles he wanted. He figures that will get him about 7,000 orders of the lamb fries, which I speculate he will sell out of.

I visited the chef in his restaurant in Northeast, where he fried up a couple orders of the lamb fries. And? They’re quite delicious. Seriously! The testicles are cut up (that sounds painful) at Holy Land, then coated in bread crumbs and a special mixture of spices. Then it’s fried, even though Wadi tells me that lamb testicles are usually sautéed.

They deep fry a candy bar at the fair, why not deep fry some chopped up testicles.


They’re small, about the size of popcorn chicken, and the taste isn’t all that different from chicken either (cliché, but true). The texture is what surprised me: I expected something creamy or gelatinous, but instead it was meaty, but softer than chicken. Firmer than tofu. If that makes sense.

My WCCO photography partner Jose told me he wasn’t going to eat them, but I got him to try one, and he finished the whole order. It comes with a Holy Land dip that’s like a cucumber sauce for a gyro but with a hint of mint. It pairs well with lamb testicles.

File that in the “phrases I never thought I’d say” category.

(Jose and I will show you our trip to Holy Land on TV, Saturday at 8 a.m. on WCCO.)

At any rate, last year’s weird fair food was the chocolate-covered jalapeno, and that was truly disgusting. This year’s weird food gives you a reason to head to the International Bazaar, experience one of the true Minnesota success stories (Holy Land’s hummus is now sold around the country in Super Targets), and tell your friends that you ate lamb testicles at the Minnesota State Fair.

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Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

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