Blowfish testicles sicken 7 in Japan

Article here. I really don’t know what I could add.

Make that eight!

God, what Japanese people won’t eat. My (Japanese) mother-in-law called us up once to say her goodbyes because she had just prepared and eaten blowfish sashimi at home (:rolleyes:) and her lips and extremities were getting numb. She was “very careful”, she said (:rolleyes::rolleyes:). Fortunately she survived with no greater harm than the temporary numbness.

So wrong.

But I did get it.

Tell that to my keyboard!

I’ve read once, and I admit I could be entirely off-base here, that the slight numbness after eating properly prepared fugu is part of the appeal. That as small an amount of the tetrodotoxin as it takes to be fatal, there’s just enough in the safe meat to cause a pleasant tingle. Kind of like the difference between enjoying a glass of wine with dinner and dying of alcohol poisoning, but with a much, much smaller margin of error.

That said, home-prepared fugu? :eek:

IME fugu is not that big a deal. It’s served sliced so thinly that it basically tastes like nothing.

Yes, they prepare it at home. Had an acquaintance from Shimonoseki (near Hiroshima – prime fugu country, apparently) who swore by mom’s home prepared fugu. I declined the dinner invitation.

I don’t understand why people want to risk immediate poisoning. It can’t taste that good. I prefer my food to kill me slowly, like cheeseburgers (mmm…cholesterol) and I certainly wouldn’t eat one if there was a chance it could kill me in a couple days. Risk spread across a couple decades is far easier to handle.

ETA: of course, there’s also e. coli and mad cow… hm…

Y’know, I’ve been eating bull testicles since I was a little boy, and I don’t know of anyone who’s ever died from eating them. Well, maybe from the colon cancer and cardio-vascular disease, but then that could have been the fried chicken, rib eye steaks and beef liver, too. But fish nuts? How the hell do you even find them? How do they keep them on the grill? Wouldn’t it take a lot of fish to make up even a mouthful of fish balls?

My brother works for a japanese company, and his boss’s brother likes fugu. Same story, it is (apparently) desireable to leave a little of the toxin in the flesh-diners like that slightly “numb” feeling-he desribes it like being home from the dentist, with your mouth numb from novocaine. Why anybody likes this is beyond me.
He only eats the filleted flesh-eating the organs (particularly the liver) is extremely dangerous!
And it is NOT cheap-a plate of fugu runs about $150.00

When I want the numb, tingling feeling, I go for Sichuan peppercorns instead. There’s very little chance of dying from those.

While it’s true that fugu is never really cheap, it can cost anywhere from 20$ to, well, whatever you’re willing to pay. The very thin-sliced sashimi is only one way to eat it. You can have a fugu nabe or deep-fried fugu, where you’ll get much bigger chunks of meat.

It has a delicate flavour that’s similar to monkfish.

Eating fugu will generally not numb your tongue. Certain restaurants will serve, usually upon request, fugu with enough tetrodoxin to feel slight numbing, and, yes, that’s something some aficcionados go after. However, despite the potential risk, eating fugu in a restaurant is very safe. Essentially all cases of fugu poisoning involve people preparing it at home.

Like I wrote in the GQ thread, there are many sub-species of fugu and the concentration of tetrodoxin in each organ varies from species to species. In some species, notably tora-fugu – one of the most commonly-eaten – the gonads are actually very safe to eat.

The Japanese newspapers had more info on this story. The problem is that fugu regulations vary from region to region. In places where fugu is traditionally popular, like Kyoto, the rules are very strict. You must enrol in an accredited course, which lasts for 2 years. After this, you must pass an examination. Only then will you even be able to buy unprepared fugu. There are strict fines for those who sell, buy or prepare fugu without accreditation.

Unfortunately, in Yamagata, where this accident took place, fugu is not generally eaten. For this reason, the regulations are very loose. There are guidelines for accreditation but there are no legal penalties for preparing fugu without one.

The restauranteur bought the fish at the local fish market. He served the gonads because he thought that only tora-fugu gonads were poisonous, when in fact, it’s pretty much the opposite. He was never asked for his license when he bought the fish and he apparently didn’t even hold a food-preparation license.

Anyway, the lesson is: if you want to try fugu, eat it in a place like Tokyo or Kansai, where the rules are very strict.

Blowfish is actually pretty good. I’ve never had it with any of the poison still in there, but I’ve had fugu sashimi before and it was quite delicious. Not as good as Hamachi or Buri, but quite delicious :smiley:

That said, you ever have a Luthor Burger?

DONUTS on a hamburger?!? That’s just…ewww!!! :eek:

They serve fishballs in Thailand, but that’s not quite the same thing.

I was just saying to the little woman the other day, “A blowfish testicle a day keeps the poison control officer away.”

Guess I was wrong. I don’t know who the little woman was, she was just standing at a bus stop and I tried to strike up a conversation with her, cleverly involving testicles to make it sexier.

I’ve never looked inside a blowfish, but when we dissected perch in highschool, my 6" fish was well endowed. The nads were about the size of squashed ping pong balls. They were one of the easiest internal parts to identify.

I did not eat them.

You call THIS a restaraunt and you dont sell Blowfish testicles for gods sake?

What the hell you dont get much call for them ?

Go into a different business buster!