fugu fact file
Fugu is a fish that's out to fug you up.
It's got poison inside it, and you don't need to be Einstein to realise that poison + human = mortuary c²The poison, tetrodotoxin, is 1200 times more lethal than cyanide. Ingestion causes almost instant death, a real nuisance if all you’re after is a bite to eat.
In Japan, fugu (aka blow fish, puffer fish, and testicleattackerfish) is a delicacy and has to be eaten delicately.
Only licensed chefs are permitted to prepare fugu. If any old Tom, Dick or Hiroshi does it, you may well get fugged over. So be sure to look for this sign outside restaurants which shows that the chef has the appropriate fugu license….
Some advice – if you order a fugu course, which usually includes fugu soup, fugu-don, fugu tempura etc, be sure to say “oishkatta” (“that was delicious”) very loudly after each course. Do NOT say anything negative about the food, even if it tastes like crap. Remember – the chef has your life in his hands and you wouldn't want to upset him or cause offence.
Most fugu restaurants have a big tank in the front window by the entrance so that the fish can see who will soon be eating them....
When a fugu fish senses danger, it puffs up into the shape of a big ball. Unfortunately for the fugu, this has been noticed by certain sports associations, causing it to sometimes be used in place of the usual spherical object....