VIRGINIA CITY - Up to a dozen chefs will treat the Comstock to their variations on "mountain oysters" Saturday during the ninth annual cookof in Virginia City.
Julie Lee, one of the organizers from the Virginia City Chamber of Commerce, spent much of Tuesday hauling bags of imported New Zealand sheep testicles to contestants eager to start marinading the delicacies.
"They'll be sauteed, fricasseed, fried into wontons - someone's going to put 'em in hush puppies this year- any way they can fix them," Lee said Wednesday.
The chefs will set up in the parking lot at the Bucket of Blood Saloon by noon. All the final cooking takes place in the lot, with most of the cookers fired by propane. Samples of the various recipes will be available for 50 cents each, Lee said. Admission is free.
"We've got 10 entrants and could get another two. Most of them are returning from last year, which just goes to show how fun this is," Lee said. "Some of the chefs dress up as sheep or even as a wolf."
Winners will be announced about 3 p.m.
Among the 10 judges will be champion chili cookoff competitor Dr. Ed Pierczynski, head chef of the governor Bette Nyswonger, Washoe Medical Center head chef Joe Edam, Carson City lawyer Bob Grayson and Comstock personality and brand inspector John Tyson. Head judge will be Fritz Rubins.
"I did taste all the entries last year and was amused by the ingenious ways to prepare sheep's testicles," Lee said. "Garlic seemed to be one of the favorite condiments. A lot of prepping goes into these creations, along with humor and pride."
IF YOU GO
Ninth Annual Mountain Oyster Cook Off
Saturday, March 11, noon-3 p.m.
Bucket of Blood Saloon parking lot
1 South "C" Street, Virginia City