Caldo de Cardan – Bolivian Bull Penis
In Boliva the world famous Caldo de Cardan soup is a dish based around the bull penis and testicles as the key ingredients. The penis is sliced thinly and takes the cardan name from local slang, based on how it looks like a car’s drive shaft.
Caldo de Cardán Preparation
The following video is in Spanish, but it shows the preparation process for the dish.
Caldo de Cardán Soupa Ingredients
Bull testicles are optional with some preferring to eat the dish without them. The soup contains many other ingredients like:
- a lamb rib
- chicken breast
- a hard boiled egg
- Bolivian beef jerky
The heavy bull penis is chopped into small pieces which sink to the bottom of the dish and the eater works their way through the other ingredients.
Why do People Eat Caldo de Cardán?
The soup is both affordable and delicious due to the extended cooking time and flavorful ingredients. The broth is typically cooked the night before the dish is served and cooked on low heat throughout the night.
The energy boosting soup is believed to help with sexual impotency, anemia and hangovers.
It costs around $2 per serving (in 2020 USD) and is frequently sold in close proximity to Bolivian bull slaughterhouses.
More information is available online in Spanish at MDZ Online [link to Wayback Machine version of article hosted on Archive.org]. A reader named John helped up by providing a translation of the above referenced 2009 article in the comments section. Here is his translation:
In Bolivia they do not need Viagra, there is a common broth.
To fight fatigue, but not with an energizing drink of “Red Bull”, they say this increases sexual potency. But it is not Viagra. It is a common broth, a curiosity of the Bolivian cuisine that seems to be gaining more and more support among those in need an extra push or clear mind after a long celebration.
Weekends, and always after dawn, many Bolivians fill the restaurants in the city of El Alto and the slums of La Paz in search of the intense flavor of the broth, whose main ingredient is the virile member of the bull.
Consumed by people of all ages, including women, convinced that it is an effective cure for a hangover. Some attribute aphrodisiac properties and some will recommend it for back pain and joints.
“It’s like my breakfast. The first thing I eat when I get up,” confessed Bráñez Benito, a resident of El Alto for 59 years, who has eaten the broth for the last decade.
The popular soup takes its name from the similarity between the member of a bull, and the mechanical tube located at the base of a car which carries the force of the engine to the rear wheels.
The secret of the mint broth’s effectiveness lies in preparedness. “As a concentrate, we cook it from 10 pm until the next morning,” Luque said in July, owner of a restaurant whose specialty is the popular soup.
The liquid acquires in this way, according to connoisseurs, the strength of the bull, contained in the testes.
“The long, slow cooking in huge pots heated with wood fire stoves or liquefied petroleum gas, makes taurine (a substance present in many energy drinks) which is mixed with the broth” explained Luque, who has prepared the porridge for the last 17 years with a recipe he learned in the central region of Cochabamba, where he worked as a kitchen helper.
“Almost 10 hours of cooking so that the broth is concentrated, this is one of the secrets, the other is taking it tomorrow,” said Cristina Poma, wife of Luque and cook in the restaurant that they handle.
After cooking, the broth takes on a creamy consistency and only then are small pieces of the bulls member mixed in the dish with lots of legs of beef, chicken and lamb, boiled egg, some rice and potato. The potato is ubiquitous in Andean Bolivian cuisine.
“I like it because it is rich,” said Bráñez sipping the broth, which, by the variety of ingredients has a pleasant and intense flavor.
For her part, Surco Lucio said: “I have nine children thanks to the broth” while lifting her chest and shoulders to lift up her younger son, Marco, who she said will, from time to time, taste the succulent dish.
“The broth is a universal tradition,” added the young man carrying a piece in a plastic bag. A single dose of just 12 bolivianos, will cost you a little over a dollar and a half.
Submitted by Miguel