The world is full of adventurous gastronomic experiences. But nothing beats fugu, the lethally poisonous puffer fish, in which you literally put your life in the hands of specialist chefs.
Parts of the pufferfish fish, most notably the liver and eyes, contain lethal levels of tetrodotoxin, a poison which if ingested, paralyzes the muscles leaving the victim unable to breathe.
To give you some idea, tetrodotoxin in fugu is 1,200 times stronger than cyanide and there is no known antidote.
Japanese chef, Yutaka Sasaki has been a fugu specialist for over 45 years. Like all fugu masters, he went through a rigorous ten-year apprenticeship before becoming fully trained to prepare the delicate fish. He says, “I serve this fish knowing your life is in my hands.”
The strict laws in Japan mean deaths in restaurants are almost non-existent – the victims usually being fisherman with inadequate preparation skills.
Interestingly, chefs are trained well enough to leave just enough of the toxin so diners can feel a pleasant tingling sensation, but without killing them.