With hospital bills being as high as they are these days, you wonder if it’s better to risk death for $200 and the full blowfish shebang. In Japan, it’s called Fugu and it’s a delicacy. It’s got high levels of tetrodotoxin, which is 1,200 times more toxic than cyanide. It can hit your nervous system in minutes and leave you a few hours of life. The hospital bill should be relatively cheap.
Rich people are willing to risk their lives for a plate of fugu. You need to be a licensed chef who has been appropriately schooled to prepare this dish and the restaurant needs a license to serve it. The procedure of clearing the toxins is complicated and requires exceptionally thin knife blades. The slices are almost translucent (See photo above). The dish is served raw, with a choice of either wasabi or soy sauce.
Fugu can also be served with a vegetable stew (Fugu-chiri, above), or the roe can be grilled then presented with salt on it. Here’s a secret: Some professional chefs allow a tiny bit of poison to remain in the meat. The result is a numb feeling on your lips and tongue. Well, perhaps that is akin to saying that one has tasted death.
Fugu chefs are the elite of their kind, but the cost of failure may be a revoked license, penalty fee and perhaps jail. An old tradition required that if a client died from fugu fish, the chef had to kill himself with his own knife. Want to know about a woman who almost died from fugu fish? Go here.
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Date 4 January 2007, 07:24:51 Source Flickr: Little FUGU - 河豚 Author jim