The British chef Fergus Henderson pioneered “nose-to-tail eating”; cooking every part of the animal.

But even he may have baulked at the main delicacy at a recent Serbian food festival — horse testicle stew.

Competitors at the 10th unofficial testicle cooking “world championship” in Lunjevica prepared a “balls goulash”. It has been eaten in the region for centuries and was a favourite of Yugoslav dictator Tito, said festival founder Ljubomir Erovic.

The secret, said entrant Zdravko Djuric, is to soak them in wine for 30min before simmering with onions, garlic, peppers, tomatoes and herbs.

“But beware,” he warned. “They should be cut diagonally, otherwise they lose their aphrodisiac effect.”

That claim is, however, likely to be, well, cobblers.

Originally published in Horse & Hound 19 September 2013