Two kilograms of rooster testicles were confiscated from a passenger arriving at Wellington International Airport from Vietnam recently.
"A passenger was coming in with a chilly bin full of food which he declared, and the items were found in that," a spokesman for the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) said today.
The testicles were stopped at the border because they presented a biosecurity risk, the MPI said.
However, there was no penalty because the man had declared them.
"These were intended to be eaten. As to how one would cook them, we are unsure," the ministry tweeted this morning.
According to cooking website CloveGarden, rooster testicles are a popular delicacy in some Asian countries where they are believed to enhance male "prowess", and improve skin tone for women.
"Rooster testicles are larger than you might think, but they need to be," CloveGarden says. "A rooster is expected to be up at the crack of dawn, crow his heart out - then 'service' 20 or more hens during the day."
Rooster testicles can be grilled or fried, according to recipes found on the web, but in Asia are usually served in a broth with mushrooms or vegetables.
As for the taste: "The flavour is quite mild, kind of like tofu with overtones of chicken liver - pretty innocuous, once you get used to the idea of eating roosters 'nads," CloveGarden says.
MPI and Customs officials are used to seeing unusual items turn up in arriving passengers' luggage.
A dozen tiger penises, a monkey's head, two suitcases of live parrots and a stuffed baby grizzly bear were some of the oddities seized by government officials at New Zealand borders last year.
- Fairfax Media