[English] plural testicles

The testicle or testis is the male gonad, an organ whose functions include the production of spermatozoa (male germ cells) and the secretion of male hormone (testosterone). Testosterone is not absorbed when taken orally so female ingestors need have no worries. In 1978 Sue Chambers and I were travelling together. At one point we went into a "restaurant" in Damascus, a city and a country which we both remember as places of extraordinary beauty, inhabited by people who were courteous, respectable and honourable. In the restaurant we were handed a menu which offered us the following choices: ross chicken (sic), fatte mutton feet (sic) or testacles (sic). Now, we had eaten ross chicken before. It seemed to consist of a pale scrawny bird steeped in oil which was slowly warmed. When it had got hot, the bird was lifted, dripping, from the pot and served as it was, without any discernible change in the colour of the skin. Fatte mutton feet we had never tasted but decided not to make this our first attempt. So we chose the testacles, rather to the consternation of the staff and other guests. Some time later a plate was brought for each of us, covered with pitta bread. Lifting the bread we found on each plate 3 testicles - an odd number - each completely white, flat and enormous. We conjectured that the animals must have been camels. We lifted the bread and picked up our forks, but the waiter ran across the room and slapped the bread back on top, looking sternly at us. The rest of our meal was spent stabbing around under the bread trying to capture morsels to bring to our mouths. I think everyone in the restaurant was relieve when we finally left.