Would you risk your life for a meal? In Japan, they do to taste Fugu or pufferfish that can be deadly if its toxic parts are not properly removed.
Over 20 people have reportedly died in Japan after eating the fish since 2000. Its skin, skeleton, intestines, ovaries and liver contain a poison called tetrodotoxin, which is 1,200 times deadlier than cyanide. The toxin is so potent that a lethal dose is smaller than the head of a pin.
But still there are people who crave for this expensive delicacy. A lot of them, in fact. It is served in paper-thin slices by expert chefs who have undergone at least two years of training and obtained a fugu-preparation license. About 40 kinds of fugu are caught in Japan and people consume 10,000 tons of the fish every year. In restaurants, fugu is usually eaten raw.
Some people like to eat the fish with a tiny amount of toxin left in it. They feel a tingling in the lips, and it’s this effect that attracts people. But it’s a dangerous move, because if there is too much toxin, diners will soon experience something much worse.
As well as in Japanese restaurants, there are other countries where you can eat fugu, including the US and South Korea.