Could you ever imagine that the most lethal food could be a delicacy? No bluffing, its true. The Japanese are the pioneers in making Fugu, a dish prepared from Puffer fish that contains lethal amounts of a poison known teradoxin. Speaking of a delicacy, the dish is way too expensive and can get lethal if not cooked properly. If you are out in the restaurant to order this dish, make sure you have sufficient cash. You can also get lucky to catch Puffer fish from the river if you possess kayak anchors or kayak leashes but without the art of cooking, it is no use. So do not even attempt to cook it on your own.
Throughout history, there are instances when people from the East Asian region attempted to consume this fish with disastrous consequences. The poison is capable of paralyzing the human body such that victim cannot move an inch but is forced to bear all the pain silently until he/she dies. Other symptoms include dizziness, exhaustion, headache, nausea and severe difficulty in breathing.
The person who dares to eat the fish without professional cooking will end up dying the most painful death. The victim remains unconscious throughout the ordeal due to paralysis of muscles which lead to asphyxiation and subsequently to death. The most dangerous part is that there is no known antidote that can suppress the action of this potent killer. The only option is to empty the stomach and feed the victim with charcoal along with taking other life-support measures so that the victim remains alive. What happens is charcoal binds effectively to any poison that remains in the colon. But all thanks to the Japanese, none of this is necessary. As now eating of Puffer fish became an art form.
This Asian cuisine needs to be prepared under strict standards only by a licensed chef. The chef has to undergo several tests to be certified. In the preparation of Fugu, he employs a special knife called Fugu Hiki. With this knife, he can extract a greater part of meat while eliminating the poison from it. You may be wondering why the poison cannot be eliminated by heat from cooking. This is because teradoxin is stubbornly stable against heat so heat of cooking potentially causes no harm to the poison.
Moreover, in the professional art of cooking this dish, the chef has to leave some amount of poison intentionally. This makes it rather tasty and one of its kind. The moment you eat expertly cooked fish, your lips will tingle and go numb. It is just a small amount of poison that causes this sensation.
Now Fugu has become more than just a delicacy as it has become a food category. The way it is cooked and served in restaurants makes it absolutely safe for consumption. Moreover, it offers varieties such as the Sashimi, Milt, Fried, Stew and Salad Fugu. All varieties are simply mouth-watering but some people avoid it due to fear. For all those people there is good news that some non-toxic varieties of the fish are maintained using aquaculture. This is done by restricting the diet of the fish. However, the good thing is that they are said to have the same taste.