This meal is served with a side of death. The notorious delicacy has been known to kill many people every year, yet it is still served. Some claim idiocy, while others want it for the thrill of the knowledge that they are standing on the edge of life. Whatever the reason, the dish is still an incredible piece of Japanese culture.
Fugu is the Japanese originated dish that serves highly poisonous puffer fish up to customers. The most commonly served puffer fish served in Fugu is called Takifugu which can be found just about anywhere in the world with
over 25 species. The fish contains a poison called tetrodotoxin especially concentrated in its major organs such as its liver, skin and ovaries. But some people prefer to consume the fish’s livers because of its taste and dangers. However, the livers and internal organ were banned from consumption in 1984 due to its high risks. If however, the fugu is prepared correctly by a skilled and government certified chef, the chances of poisoning are significantly reduced, regardless hundreds of people have been killed throughout the years from this fatal meal.
So let’s say you took a bite of this fateful fish and you happened to get poisoned, what exactly would happen to you. First of all, the average Tikafugu has enough poison to kill 30 grown men, so a single bite
could easily set you packing for death. Well tetrodotoxin (also known as TTX) is a powerful neurotoxin with no known antidote – however some were able to survive the poisoning with induced vomiting – and is a sodium channel blocker. Which paralyzes the muscles and eventually paralyzes the muscles that allow breathing, with of course will lead to asphyxia – the lack of oxygen to your body because of your lack of breathing ability, like choking – and eventually cause death. But that’s not all, the TTX toxin can also leave you conscious while your muscles shut down, leaving you fully aware of your death but you wouldn’t be able to blink, move, or show your suffering in any way as you stop breathing. The full process can take anywhere between 4 and 6 hours.
If you’re a daredevil or a thrill seeker of sorts but can’t afford to go to Japan do not despair. This dish has now made it overseas to New York and other states. One restaurant Azusa in Manhattan serves fugu, and is made by highly qualified chefs to decrease risks. So if you’re looking to play some Japanese roulette then head down for some of that Fugu.