Fugu fish dishes are very popular in Japan and some other countries. But, this delicacy, if prepared incorrectly, is deadly. Even potassium cyanide is hundreds of times weaker in its action than this small fish.
In the XVI, the use of this fish in Japan was prohibited, since the whole army of this country was poisoned before the campaign in Korea. Only 200 years later, Japanese Prime Minister Hirobumu Ito tasted this dangerous dish and was delighted with its unusual taste. At the request of a high-ranking official, the long-term ban was lifted.
Fugu fish is not trusted by every chef. To do this, you need to take the appropriate courses and obtain a license. But, even these measures do not guarantee complete safety. Dozens of people get poisoned every year from an exotic dish. No wonder, in Japan in ancient times there was a law: if visitors were poisoned, the cook had to eat this dish himself.
The village of Shimonoseki on the island of Honshu is home to about 500 chefs licensed to cook puffer fish. And in front of the local market there is a bronze monument depicting a fugu.
Cooking fugu dishes involves 30 strictly prescribed operations. Violating at least one of them, you can lose your license. The poisonous organs removed from the fish are kept under lock and key in special containers and then burned.
Japanese biologists have long struggled with the question: is it possible to breed a non-venomous species of this fish? Their efforts ended successfully, now nurseries have been created in the country where puffer fish are grown, which is absolutely safe for consumption. But many restaurant customers say eating safe fish is "too boring." They are probably attracted not only by the taste of the dish, but also by the opportunity to play dangerous "roulette" with fate.
Moreover, gourmets say: despite all the efforts of the cook, an insignificant dose of poison still remains in the fish. Therefore, often while eating, a person experiences euphoria. The body seems to lose sensitivity for a while, and then everything returns to normal.
Tetrodotoxin is a poisonous substance found in puffer fish. Tetrodotoxin quickly enters the bloodstream, after a few minutes symptoms of poisoning appear: itching on the lips and tongue. Then - nausea appears, the body loses its sensitivity and the person dies from paralysis of the respiratory muscles.
However, the Japanese believe that there is a fugu - stupidity, and not there - too. And death from this fish is considered, according to Japanese concepts, honorable.