Deadly delicacies: the most notorius is fugu
If you are an adrenalin lover, you will go for almost any challenge, but would you accept to try deadly delicacies?
It is not about fast-food or so called junk food. We all know about it, but most of us just live on the edge every day eating it.
Wherever there are some exotic, original and dangerous delicacies, there are people willing to taste them. The reason is quite obvious: simply because they exist it’s worth to try them.
You are what you eat, they say. If I eat a fish I’ll become one? Definetly not, but there is some chance to become… dead instantly.
Fugu or puffer-fish is an expensive sashimi dish. This deadly delicacy is popular in Japan, but prohibited in Europe. There are a few restaurants in US and in Korea where this “Russian roulette of sushi” is served. The internal organs of this fish contain tetrodotoxin, therefore it has to be prepared carefully, or else… it is possible to end up paralyzed and expired in a very short time.
Despite its notoriety, fugu is not the only life-threatening dish, neither the most dangerous, nor the most commonly served deadly delicacy. Stonefish produce venom, but when it’s cooked, it loses its potency. If it’s served raw (sashimi dish Okoze) its venomous dorsal fins are eliminated. Fugu and silverstripe blaasop do not secrete venom, but they are toxic because of bacteria in their diets. Their internal organ have to be removed carefully prior serving.
Echizen kurage is an enormous, poisonous jellyfish that lives in swarms in the Japan waters. Like fugu or silverstripe blaasop the toxic parts have to be attentively eliminated and the jellyfish has to be properly cooked for safe consumption, as one of the (potentially) deadly delicacies, of course.
Blood clams are native to waters around the world and are cultivated in Southeast Asia.
The redness that gives these cockles their name is due to a high level of hemocyanins.
Blood clams, considered one of the most tasteful Chinese delicacies, are flavored with a fermented tofu (fulu) sauce. If it’s not boiled enough, there are some risks that hepatitis A, E, viruses, typhoid, and dysentery bacilli could remain present.
The giant bullfrog, that grows to the size of a cat and contains enough poison to be lethal, is a delicacy in Namibia. The Namibians eat the entire giant bullfrog except for the internal organs. If it is eaten prematurely (“before the third rain”) can cause urethritis or acute renal failure. Locally this frog-induced disease is known as Oshiketakata.
San nak ji (raw baby octopus) is served in Korea. The octopus is dismembered, sesame oil is added, and immediately the tentacles are brought to the table. Lots of the tentacles will still be moving around. They could deploy venom if you try to swallow them.
You don’t have to look only to animals in order to find deadly delicacies. There are a lot of plants that are potentially lethal.
Ackee is the national fruit of Jamaica. This fruit look like a bulb and has the appearence and taste of scrambled eggs when cooked. It’s often eaten as breakfast. The time has to be right for that meal. Ackee can cause extreme nausea if consumed when it’s not ripe enough. It contains hypoglycine. The effects are critical: quickly lowering one’s blood sugar and ensuring violent illness or death. The condition caused by inadequate use is called “Jamaican vomiting sickness” and can bring even death to children.
Like ackee, eating cassava is a dietary habbit in the tropics. In Africa and South America cassava is used to bake breads, ground into pastes and fried into cakes. The root contains enough cyanide to kill. If is not washed and prepared properly, it can have bad consequences.
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