EAGLE — Before we tell you what they are, you have to try Rocky Mountain oysters.
Lucky for you the annual Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry is Saturday evening at the Eagle County Fairgrounds.
That’s because there’s nothing quite like the look on someone’s face who’s eating their fourth Rocky Mountain oyster and learns from whence it came.
Some stare as they turned them over and over in their hands, picking off bits of breading and tasting it, eventually getting into the spirit of the event and getting the spirit of the event into them. Others are less inhibited, proclaiming out loud that if the French consider snails fine cuisine, then real Americans, who know better than to eat snails, can eat Rocky Mountain oysters and do so with gusto.
See food, not seafood
Some will dig into their dinner plates under the illusion that they’re eating seafood. Yeah, sort of.
When asked, cowpersons will gently explain that gentleman cattle are “altered” in such a way as to render the gentleman cattle incapable of reproducing. And that means what you think it does — lethargic cattle are wandering the fields with their life’s major ambition removed.
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And that is the general idea. The last thing a cattle rancher needs is for beleaguered bovines to form a political lobbying organization.
You can also opt for the more traditional beef. It’s what’s for dinner, at least on Saturday.
What is this?
The Rocky Mountain Oyster Feed is an annual fundraiser for local 4-H clubs and the Eagle County Fair and Rodeo.
“Four-H is the largest youth development organization in the country,” said Jenny Leonetti, Eagle County 4-H Club Youth Development Agent. “Raising an animal or spending several months completing other projects teaches kids responsibility, hard work, record keeping and dedication to seeing a project come to fruition.”
Over the years, the money has purchased things like sound systems, livestock pens, cages for exhibiting animals — stuff kids need to keep themselves and their animals out of trouble.
Not so long ago Eagle County, like the rest of the nation, lapsed into a recession. That meant the budget-cut ax fell on local 4-H scholarships and awards.
Budget cuts are personal when you’re a 4-H kid, and they decided to do something about it.
One of the things 4-H teaches is that nothing is free. Money follows work. If you want something, you earn it.
If You Go …
What: Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry
When: Saturday. Dinner 5-7 p.m., followed by auction and dancing
Where: Eagle River Center, Eagle County fairgrounds, Eagle
Cost: Adults $20, Children 6-12 and seniors $10. Children 5 and under free.
Information: The Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry is an annual fundraiser for Eagle County 4-H. Call 970-328-8631 or go to http://www.eaglecounty.us/csu.