Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Japanese Delicacies - Fugu

In the news today we learn that 7 people have been hospitalized in Japan with poisoning from eating Fugu - the Japanese blowfish.

Fugu is usually prepared as sashimi and must be done by a chef specially licensed to prepare fugu as one slip of the knife can pierce a gland and release poisons into the flesh. The poison, tetrodotoxin, is 100 time more lethal than potassium cyanide. In 2007, 3 people died and 44 were hospitalized from Fugu poisoning. Most of these people used the DIY method of Fugu preparation - not a good idea when dealing with deadly fish.

Eating Fugu is Japanese Machismo. The idea is that you are brave enough to tempt death by eating the dangerous delicacy. It is usually done by executives on expense account as it is too expensive to eat it on your own nickle. I guess it also give the execs bragging rights back at the office. Who knows, eating Fugu may also be used as a team building exercise or to test the courage prospective promotees.

PE has eaten Fugu twice in his life. It has a delicate taste. The flesh is sliced thin so that it is tranparent. Now I won't eat raw oysters. I did it and survived my "wild years". I proved my machismo to my Japanese colleages and I don't need to do it again.

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