Saturday, January 31, 2009

Fugu


Fugu is pufferfish, a relatively new delicacy, even in Japan. The trend to eating fugu really started in Tokyo only 7-10 years ago. Fugu, is an extremely poisonous fish. The toxin is called tetrodotoxin, found in the liver, ovaries, and skin. It causes paralysis, leading to death by asphyxiation. There is no antidote.

Knowing this, I had to taste it. Restaurants need licenses to prepare this, for obvious reasons. I found it lacking. It's served several ways - the sashimi was dry and rubbery, the meat used for hotpot was too oily. The skin, however, was delicious. A firm texture, much like snakeskin. Overall, the experience was more of a novelty than fine dining. And I didn't get poisoned! I think there's too many of these restaurants in Tokyo. Quality is going down - it's no longer a special ingredient. The vast majority of the fish comes from farms, and although I don't question their farming techniques, cheapening a delicacy by oversupplying reduces it to something much less.

Anyways - these guys weren't so lucky. That's what happens when you go to cheap places. The restaurant wasn't even licensed.

Blowfish poisoning sends 7 to hospital
Delicacy makes diners seriously ill

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