Dangerous Dining or Russian Roulette?

Raw milk seems decidedly wimpy compared to this. William Gurstelle comments on a London Daily Telegraph story that talks about a company raising a non-poisonous fuga at a fish farm in Japan. His post is titled “Fugu without tetrodoxin is like NASCAR racing without the possibility of crashes“. I wonder if those fish are even legal to sell in Ontario. But if they are, what a precedent for raw milk! Here’s an excerpt, from William’s post today on Boing Boing:

Would you like yours poisonous, or not? Photos: Boing Boing

“….. In my book “Absinthe and Flamethrowers”, there’s quite a bit of rumination upon why people purposefully [eat] dangerous foods. I’m not talking about foods that are just unhealthy like the 1400 calorie Hardee’s Monster Thickburger, but foods that do or might actually contain poison or biological hazards if not handled with precision and experience.

The list is surprisingly long and includes ackee (a Jamaican favorite,) pokeweed (a southern US boiled green,) and casu marsu (the fabled larva-laden cheese of Sardinian sheepherders.) But the tops among all is fugu, the sushi made from the flesh of the tiger pufferfish. Certain internal organs of the fish contains extravagant amounts of ultra powerful nerve poison tetrodotoxin, so one’s first meal with inexpertly prepared fugu sashimi is certainly one’s last.

But that’s why people want it. It’s not about the food, I guess as much as the preparation and eating ritual, and what those ceremonies mean to the diner. Take the poison out of the fish and you may as well be eating kani kama….”

Bill Gurstelle, author of "Absinthe and Flamethrowers" as well as of the post excerpted above. We all know absinthe makes the heart grow fonder, but it's far from clear what flamethrowers will do for you.

1 Comment

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One response to “Dangerous Dining or Russian Roulette?

  1. shane

    My favorite dangerous foods are oysters and the most famous mushroom of all the fly agarica, aka smurf mushroom. Most mushroom books claim it is poisonousness but wit proper prep is is quite tasty.

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