This Japanese Dish Can Be Fatal
Fugu, a Japanese pufferfish, is notorious for the highly toxic poison - tetrodotoxin - contained in its organs. Regardless of its deadly potential, fugu has been eaten in Japan for hundreds of years.
Initially, it was unknown how to properly prepare the fish and there were many fatalities from fugu consumption. For this reason, fugu was banned from around 1570 to 1870.
Nowadays it's common to see fugu on the menu in many restaurants and in supermarkets throughout Japan. However, it must be prepared by a licensed chef and is prohibited to be prepared in the home.
In order for fugu to be edible the toxic parts must be removed without contaminating the non-poisonous ones and cleaned. Up to 2 years' worth of training are required to learn how to handle such a deadly fish and one cannot prepare and serve fugu without the proper qualifications.
Thrill-seeking foodies are not the only reason that Japanese pufferfish is so popular. Aside from the distinct, subtle flavor and unique chewy texture of fugu, it is also low in fat and high in protein.
As for taste? The reviews are all fairly common and a bit cliche when it comes to eating unusual foods - it tastes rather like chicken!
Fugu lovers would say it has a distinctive taste, and even more importantly, texture. Japanese has many words to describe texture because it is a very important aspect of the cuisine.