Food: freestyle experiences

A Blog about Food you truly want to read!

This Article Can Cause Death! March 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — thalounette @ 6:26 pm

 

Every year, hundreds of thousands of Japanese people literally put their lives on a plate, in a gastronomic form of Russian roulette. They pay a fortune to sit down and taste a Fugu meal. Most of them live to talk about the experience the next day, but each year, about fifty of them do not. They die still thinking clearly but unable to speak or move and, finally, breathe. Nevertheless, Fugu is now more popular than ever! But what exactly is Fugu?

Fugu has been consumed in Japan for centuries and is an expensive delicacy. Indeed, it is the Japanese word for pufferfish and is also a Japanese dish prepared from the meat of pufferfish. This dish is notorious because pufferfish is lethally poisonous if not correctly prepared.

Thus, as it is well known (we even see it in one episode of the Simpsons, in which Homer actually eats Fugu! 😀 ), the neural toxin (called tetrodotoxin) that is contained in the internal organs of the Fugu fish can cause muscle paralysis and lead to respiratory standstill. More importantly, and this is scary, there is no antidote… Two years ago, a cook who had served a poorly prepared fish leading the guests to the hospital was lucky: he was only arrested by the police while according to the tradition he should have eaten the rest of the dish after having poisoned the guests.

According to the Japanese laws, cooks are obliged not only to pass an exam on the right fanning out of puffer, but also to attend ‘skill improvement’ courses regularly. And since 1958, only specially licensed chefs can prepare and sell Fugu to the public. The Fugu apprentice needs to learn during approximately three years before being allowed to take an official test which consists of a written test, a fish-identification test, and a practical test of preparing Fugu and then eating it. Only a few pass the test… I see this as a real art and I think people have to be experimented to cook it! Hopefully, they are not kidding when dealing with people’s life 😀 Fugu fish is forbidden in Europe and only a few restaurants cook this fish in the United States. By the way, venomousness of Fugu depends on what it eats and Japanese farmers have learnt a long time ago how to breed absolutely safe fish but the safe variety is not popular.

The most popular dish is fugu sashimi (really thin slices of raw fish) but you can find Fugu in salad, fried, stewed or pickled.

Besides Fugu, there are a significant number of other poisonous types of fish in the cuisines of various countries, which even if they are ideally cooked can be poisonous. However, not only fish but also some fruit and vegetables served in some countries contain a distinctive amount of poison, which can cause death. And many of these products are considered to be local delicacies!

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18 Responses to “This Article Can Cause Death!”

  1. thalounette Says:

    I have never tried to eat Fugu! It sounds scary, and if I get the chance I think I will not try it… I do love how the pufferfish looks though 😀

  2. thalounette Says:

    Not many people actually die eating fugu, I guess that whenever somebody dies, newspaper and television jump on it and blow it out of all proportion…
    But there is always the chance that it can happen, and that seems to be the attraction!

  3. Brian Says:

    I love this Simpson episode!!
    A guy I knew back in high school ate fugu when he went to Kyoto. He told me it was just ok. Nothing to pay that much for according to him. I’d never try to eat fugu, I’d be paranoid and would end up asking sushi instead…

  4. thalounette Says:

    Homer Simpson would try everything I have talked about on this blog! In yesterday’s episode, he was running after a giant doughnut!
    Then, if you are going go to Japan, will you not try Fugu? Think this way: it is a huge experiment! And you will be able to brag about it 😀

  5. Brian Says:

    Well first I’ll try to get enough money to go to Japan and then I tell you if I’ll try this fish. I know it would be classy to say “yeah I ate fugu when I was in Kyoto” but it’s less classy when people say “yeah he died eating fugu when he was in Kyoto. I told him it was not a good idea.”

  6. thalounette Says:

    You have to send me a postcard when you’ll be there!
    That’s true that you will not be able to talk about this great trip if you die there 😀 But, what the hell, I told you to be adventurous 😀

  7. agathe02 Says:

    I had already heard about a fish that, if badly cooked, could kill people. So now I know that it is called Fugu…I suppose people who eat it like taking risks and live dangerously!

  8. deb1708 Says:

    I love eating fish so why not try this one!!!

  9. aventa Says:

    It’s really scary i don’t want to eat that !
    One of my friend have tried in Japan but it’s expensive !

  10. thalounette Says:

    I don’t know if find exciting to eat Fugu… Indeed, having it on my plate I would think ‘I can die because of it, I can die because of it…’ gniiii 😀

    Too risky for little Thalie 😀

  11. Romain Says:

    I saw the Fugu episode on the Simpsons TV show. People love take a risk with their food. It’s a typical japonese dish. And we know Japanes are a little crazy. Enjoy.

    I don’t know if I would be ready to taste one day. And you Thalounette? Please, on eating, don’t die.

  12. thalounette Says:

    I am fond of Japanese food! But I am really scared when it comes to Fugu!

  13. davelecteur Says:

    hehe it’s been a while since I saw that episode of the Simpsons but I remember it well! at one point, after eating the Fugu, Homer gets given a pamphlet by the doctor with the title “So, you’re going to die” – harsh!!
    the death it leads to again reminds me of the guy in Into The Wild, when he eats the wrong wild plants. If there’s no antidote for Fugu toxin, I think I’ll abstain 😛

    note: an “experienced” chef, not “experimented”


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