The gourmet's delight in Japan is Fugu ... a fish known in other parts of?
The gourmet's delight in Japan is Fugu ... a fish known in other parts of the world as the globefish, porcupinefish, pufferfish or seahedgehog. It is the most favoured and expensive food in Japan ... and it also contains a poison up to one thousand times more deadly than cyanide.
Since 1958, when 289 people were affected by the fish (167 subsequently died) the Government has allowed only certified chefs to cook Fugu in restaurants. The chefs have to undergo a test each year to make sure they still have the touch. The Government has even gone so far as to issue a health warning about the fish. Since those drastic measures were introduced the statistics have improved. In 1973 only 27 people died of Fugu poisoning.
The fish has the ability to puff itself up with water and display its spikes when threatened. Only a few grams of its body is required to cause death ... unless cooked the right way.
Recently Fugu made the headlines again. Mitsugoro Bando, a famous actor in the Japanese traditional Kabuki drama, died on January 18 after eating Fugu.