A haiku by Japanese poet Yosa Buson (1716-1783):
I cannot see her tonight.
I have to give her up.
So I will eat fugu.
When I was in med school, I learned about tetrodotoxin, one of the world’s strongest and deadliest deadly neurotoxin (I’ll spare you its mechanism of action lol). It is this very toxin that makes puffer fish (“fugu” in Japanese) so deadly—so dangerous, in fact, that chefs in Japan must undergo a two or three year apprenticeship and pass multiple tests in order to be allowed to serve it to customers. Fugu is also the only food the Emperor of Japan is forbidden to eat by law (it’s for his safety).
So naturally, we got fugu sashimi (in addition to fugu karaage, nabe, and milt). The fugu flesh is cut paper thin to the point where the meat is practically translucent. To be honest, it had a pretty simple taste—almost like fluke. But it does give your mouth a slight tingling sensation. It was just enough to be kind of enjoyable without it being distracting… or ending up dead. Thank you Chef for training and not killing me . 😛🐡