Fugu is a delicacy enjoyed in Japan. It’s made from the poisonous blowfish. If not properly prepared it will kill you. So how did the first Fugu chef learn his trade? I’m thinking trial and error is not the way to go here. So when was Fugu first served and who discovered how tasty it is if you eat around the bad parts?

Hi, rebelyell, and welcome to the SDMB!

Boy, you jump right in, doncha? I’m still a newbie and haven’t yet thought of anything with which to begin a thread, but you go right for the jugular! :slight_smile:

Might try doing a google search, to find out, because I really don’t have a clue how it all started. I just wanted to welcome you aboard.

Of course, possibly you’ve already tried that, and in that case, flopped in your searchings, so this would be the best place to find your answer.

Not from moi of course, but you know…the other 14,000 or so posters here could probably be of some service.

Again, welcome!

Fugu for You!

The fugu you eat pretty much won’t kill you. But there ARE deadly pufferfish. Don’t just hop in the ocean, catch one, and expect to be able to chow down safely.

I’ve heard that the real connoisseurs like their fugu when it has the tiniest bit of poison in it, so they just get a slight tingle off it, but not enough to make them sick or kill them. Somewhat unreliable source.

I saw a fugu chef on tv once. He said that he had to study under a master fugu chef for 10 years before he could serve it himself. I think he said it costs about $110 per serving.

I’m aware of the intense and lenghty training fugu chefs must endure, all of that just makes my question more poignant. If a chef must undergo 10 years of training before he is allowed to serve fugu then how was this foodstuff ever developed and ok’d for human consumption. Who accepted dinner invitations from this guy and who stuck around for the main course after being told that “it’s either really delicious or it will kill you.” So once again I’ll post my question: Who invented fugu and how.

I don’t know the specific answer to your OP, but in the book,* The Serpeant and the Rainbow*, ethnobotanist Wade Davies analyzed concoctions used by Voudoun practitioners in Haiti, and it included fugu poison, among other things. Pufferfish toxin has the amazing consequence of rendering it’s victims totally paralyzed, yet conscious. Davies was documenting use in Voudoun ritual to create “zombies”, usually members of the community who had crossed the lines of acceptable behavior, and were done away with in an intriguing fashion. They were “killed” while in a paralyzed state, then, after burial, dug up quickly and started a new life as a servant. I recommend the book for details. Not the movie- it’s a cartoon.

I recall that because of this specific paralysis, a victim of fugu poisoning in Japan must have a waiting period before being officially declared dead, in case they regain consciousness.