Shashlik And Lamb Testicles For Lunch

The day was supposed to be nice and we were invited to take part in a real Armenian picnic. All the supplies were loaded up in our two small cars and we headed out the dirt road toward the river.Five of us squeezed in to the Mitsubishi and promptly hit an unexpected pothole in the road. This caused the cargo in the back to complain with a load “baaaaa” “baaaaa”. Sure enough, there was a live lamb tied up behind the back seat. Surprise was shared all around.

Of course, he did not know that he was going to be our picnic lunch. This was to be no hamburger and hot dog picnic. No ketchup in sight. The lamb was soon to become our “shashlik” or lamb shish kabob.

Upon arrival at the river, one of the helpers promptly slit the lamb’s throat and let it drain on the dirt under the trees. This is evidently quite common and no cause for concern for the public health.


After skinning and gutting the lamb, the meat was carved up and ready for the skewers. First we barbecued egg plant and whole tomatoes, getting them nice and black. Next came laying the skewers of lamb chunks which marinaded in onions and spices for a while on the wood fire.As the lamb sizzled on the open fire, the tomatoes and egg plant were skinned and placed into a large bowl, mixed together, and later served out of the bowl.


The feast soon began with the most choice pieces being offered to the team. As a good team leader, I volunteered for the testicles. Shashlik for me will never be the same. Our immersion in Armenian barbecue culture was quite tasty, though we did pass on the spleen and liver.
I too will pass next time on the testicles.