Life in the Land of the Rising Sun

Friday, May 06, 2005

When Gourmets and Darwin Collide

How many countries do you know that have a gourmet dish that is potentially lethal? Well, here in Japan, we have the fugu, or puffer fish (shut up, Eric). Yes, I have eaten it before. Yes, I am still alive. However, people do die from it...rather quickly, I might add...from time to time.

The problem is that the puffer fish has a couple of glands that produce a deadly neurotoxin. Cutting just a little too far can lead to the succulent (well, actually, it doesn't have all that much flavor...) dish quickly turning into a deathtrap. That's why only specially-licensed chefs who have received very thorough training are authorized to prepare fugu.

Unfortunately, every once in a while you get someone who is either determined to tempt fate or just plain stupid.

Like the guy in the linked article.


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