Serbs have a ball with testicle cooking contest

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The Serbs are known for a lot of things, not all of them good. OK, very few of them good, come to think of it. Serbia is a country seriously in need of an effective PR campaign. We'd estimate that the culinary festival underway in a mountain village called Gornji Milanovac is unlikely to improve the nation's image.

The world testicle cooking championship apparently attracts testicle cooks from around the world (it's something of a niche interest). They vie with each other to cook up the most tasty concoctions from a variety of animal cojones including bull, camel, ostrich and kangaroo. This year badger balls have been added to the menu (nobody tell Brian May). "This festival is all about fun, food and bravery," said organiser and testicle cookbook author Ljubomir Erovic.

The Serbs call the star ingredient "white kidneys" and have a proud slogan: "Scots have the Scotch, the Swiss have their cheese and we the Serbs have balls." And you can keep them, might be the obvious response, but apparently there are ways of making them palatable. Although sliced as a pizza topping probably isn't one of them. "The bulls’ testicles are the best, goulash style," 2012 winner Zoltan Levai claimed.

It's not all about macho bravado. Women are welcome. New Yorker Anna Wexler came in 2012 and returned as a judge this year. "It was delicious. There was testicle moussaka, goulash, stallion, boar, bull and many other things."

The main prize is for the tastiest dish, but there are other minor prizes. One is for the dish with the strongest aphrodisiac qualities. Serb folklore claims that eating testicles increases testosterone levels, which seems a bit literal, but may be true.

Another award goes to the "world's 'ballsiest man", in recognition of feats of heroic masculinity. David Cameron is not believed to be in the running.

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