Fugu – The Deadly Delicacy

Fugu – The Deadly Delicacy

Learn all about Fugu!

We are bringing you a story of a delicacy more deadly than a ninja master – Fugu, which is puffer-fish, a well sought after dish. It is usually served sashimi (raw) but can also be served fried, baked, stewed or in a salad.

Let’s have a look at how deadly this fish is and which part of it is poisonous. According to some experts puffer-fish is much more poisonous (1200 times more) than cyanide. A single puffer-fish has enough poison to kill up to 30 people. The poison tetrodotoxin is the culprit and can be found in the fish’s organs especially the liver, ovaries and eyes. Some believe the liver is the tastiest part of the fish, but being the most poisonous part of the fish, restaurants in Japan were banned from serving the liver in 1984. The poison paralyses the muscles while the victim stays fully conscious; the victim becomes unable to breathe and then dies from asphyxiation. There is no known antidote for this poison, but supporting the respiratory and circulatory systems can be used to treat it until the poison is metabolised and excreted by the victim’s body.

Interesting enough there are less than 6% fatalities a year in Japan from eating Fugu, mainly because to be able to prepare or cook it you need special training and a license. It takes up to two to three years of training to obtain the license. Victims of fugu poisoning are poisoned more thanks to fishermen or amateur chefs trying to prepare it at home. The poison-factor of this delicacy does not scare off the Japanese – 40 types of fugu are caught in Japan and the Japanese consume about 10,000 tonnes of this fish every year.

Puffer Whale

Puffer Whale

Speaking of Fugu may remind some Toriko fanatiks of an episode. In the anime Toriko, in Episode 4, Toriko catches a fish called Puffer Whale, which only makes its appearance every ten years. Komatsu prepares the fish and Toriko, Komatsu and their friend Coco then have a Puffer Whale feast on the beach. Even in the anime, the fish is handled with care, reflecting the message that puffer-fish cooking is best handled by the professionals.

Watch these following videos learn more about Fugu:

http://bit.ly/preparing-fugu – An interview with a specialised chef and more on our deadly delicacy.

http://bit.ly/Fugu-Party – A look at a Fugu party and the type of dishes one can expect. Very interesting.

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