Yup, the poisonous blowfish treasured as a delicacy in Japan. What does it taste like that it’s worth eating? Or is it just a macho thing to risk death for the sake of eating some sushi?

Favorite google ad so far:

There’s probably an element of conspicuous consumption, as well as the thrill of danger.

From what I’ve seen, it’s difficult and time-consuming to prepare and present properly, so I imagine it’s very expensive. You can see the classic preparatiion [url=http://www.himakakankou-hotel.co.jp/dish04_at_wt/images/set/fugu-set_r1_c1.jpg. The fugu flesh is carved into delicate petals and carefully arranged (on the blue plate.) Not sure what all that other stuff is.


Here’s the link

I think I see a whole octopus in there, which could be either a complimentary children’s toy, or an appetizer.

poison . . . poison . . . tasty fish

I once got a can of sake from my mother in law in Japan. It was one of those cans that heated up the contents when you activated it. I thought it was neat so I activated the sucker and waited for it to heat up per the instructions. When it was ready I took a sip and was very surprised to find that it tasted quite strange. Furthermore there was something solid stuffed into the can. I asked my wife about it and she read the label which I could not due as it was in Japanese. It seems my sake was “flavored” with of all things fish fins :dubious:

And not just any fish fins.
Fugu Fish Fins.
The point of all this? It tastes like fish, which is to say it tastes like total shit if it’s been sitting in a can of sake for a few weeks.

In Japan, any chef preparing fugu has to be licensed. Neverthless, there are deaths now and then. While I love sushi and sashimi, somehow I can’t believe it is good enough to risk trying it, so have refrained.

My wife, who is Japanese, never ate it either for an even better reason. Her father died eathing the stuff. We were married several years before she revealed this. Back in those days (just after the war), it was somehow considered shameful to have that happen in the family. Probably why the family never sued the chef, I suppose.

I’m sure it’s good, and beautiful to look at (as is most Japanese food), but mostly I think it is just the thrill of trying it.

I heard that if it’s sliced correctly, one actually get a bit of a buzz from the poison. Is that true?

I was reading another sushi site that said that you should feel a pleasurable tingling sensation in your lips when eating it.

But if you lose sensation in your tongue–call 911 (or whatever the Japanese equivalent might be.)

According to the Simpsons DVD commentary for “One Fish, Two Fish, Blow Fish, Blue Fish” (so take that for what it’s worth), farm-raised fugu aren’t poisonous. That’s because the poison comes from the type of coral they eat.

If they aren’t poisionous, then the reason to eat them is gone. There is supposed to be a neat effect from the trace of the toxin left in the fish. No toxin, no neat effect and it is just an overpriced piece of fish.

That said, “Fugu me”.

In his television series Cook’s Tour, Tony Boudain visited an all-fugu restaurant in Tokyo. He said he was looking forward to a buzz or a tingly sensation, but actually the fugu just tasted like a mild white fish and was not remotely exciting.

Nine-ooh One-oh One-oh!
Well, that’s how I translate everything into Japanese.

I lived in Japan for a couple of years in the mid-80s; I tried fugu at a small, very expensive restaurant in Tokyo. My father explained what it was, and asked if I wanted to try it. I said, “Hell yes I want to try it.” We had it sashimi-style.

It tasted like rather bland fish. Nothing wrong with it, but not worth seeking out as a food item. It does make a good story though.

Supposedly the tingle is the attraction. Kind of like the burn is the attraction of chile peppers (does anyone eat them for the flavor?).

No, that’s Spanish. According to my dad, anyway.

Nah, the extra O in “nine-ooh” makes it Japanese. :stuck_out_tongue:

“Correctly” is exactly right. To get the buzz, you want just a bit of the poison to be present. But, generally it’s served with care that the diner doesn’t get any poison.

I had it in Japan, sliced paper thin and arranged on a large platter like a translucent lotus flower. It was some of the best sashimi I’ve ever had. Very delicate, very pure-- the perfect example of a Japanese dish.

No personal experience, but a former co-worker was in Japan after WWII. He told me they would sit around and sip sake while nibbling smoked fugu fins until their lips just started to go numb.

At another time, he was leading a crew filming the graduation/certification test for fugu chefs. He told me it all happened before he could direct the camera to it, but the examiner walked up to one of the chefs being tested amd moved something from the “good” side to the “bad” side. The student just walked quickly and silently off.

Sort of a food Russian Roulette.

All that being said, I’d love to try it.