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Let’s get a few things straight: Whether you call them Rocky Mountain oysters, calf fries, or swinging beef, this novelty dish isn’t seafood and wasn’t invented in the Rockies. These so-called “prairie oysters” are calf, bull, or bison testicles that have been stripped of a tough outer membrane, sliced, dredged in a flour or cornmeal mix, and deep-fried. Sample the goods at these four Colorado spots.
After a brief closure, this swinging-beef stalwart reopened in 2008, and the kitchen immediately resumed serving up oysters—sliced, cut into thin strips, and breaded—with a side of french fries and cocktail sauce. Bonus: Try the “Black Hills” (bison) oysters. 123 First St., Severance, 970-686-2320, www.brucesbar123.com
The Buckhorn Exchange
Take our word for it: This massive appetizer—served in a basket with a side of cocktail sauce and a peppercorn-horseradish sauce—feeds four. 1000 Osage St., 303-534-9505, www. buckhornexchange.com
These “oysters” are sliced and diced before being breaded, meaning they’re bite-size and ready for dipping in the sweet chile-caper sauce. 19192 Highway 8, Morrison, 303-697-4771, www.thefort.com
This spot dishes up calf fries that are sliced so thinly you’ll only taste fried batter. (Read: Good for RMO novices). 109 Bear Creek Ave., Morrison, 303-697-1232, www.willyswings.com