Someone Asked me About Eating the Japanese Fugu Fish

I guess I am a poor woman because I had never heard of the fugu fish. From what I understand, it can cost $200 a serving, so you can bet I never even heard of it until I was asked about it. In English, we would call the fugu fish a puffer fish. They are poisonous, but people eat them.

This looks like a baby puffer fish. They blow up like balloons and have what looks like spikes all over them. Photo by Artem Lysenko on Pexels.com

From what I understand, you have to be especially licensed to be a fugu fish chef. You have to know exactly how to cut them up and prepare them or you could kill your customers. Even at that, people get a little poison when they eat them anyway. There have been people who have actually died from eating them, but people persist thinking they won’t be the one who dies. Thrill seekers with too much money to blow eat them. There was a time they were illegal to serve in Japan, and at present, they are illegal to serve in the European Union. Besides death, people have been known to become paralyzed from eating the fish until the poison wears off. The people become like zombies. Others have been known to ingest just enough poison for everyone to think they are dead, and wake up just before the embalmer cuts them open, pretty shocking!

If you like to eat raw fish, be sure what kind it is and that it has been handled properly before you eat it because it could be deadly.//Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

However, the Japanese are trying to improve on them like they try to improve on everything. They take an existing product and make it better like when they made Atari (the American game system) into Nintendo. Another example is China invented paper, and when Japan got it, they made origami, the art of Japanese paper fold. People who study culture call the Japanese “the best copy cats in the world” because they copy something and make it better. They are now trying to improve the puffer fish or fugu, as they call it.

I went to a fish farm when I was in Japan once. This is not a fish farm because of the boats. However, fish farms are like several long canal in a country setting. Each canal has fish of a different age. Photo by Ross on Pexels.com

The Japanese have created fugu farms. They have discovered the poison in the fugu fish comes from its ovaries and liver and it is because of what they eat when they are in the wild that makes them poisonous. They think that if they keep the fugu fish on a farm and control what they eat, they are less likely to be poisonous, and it seems they are having success. However, I have read that the fugu fish is rather mild and not really worth all the trouble and all the money. Now, I know because I was asked, and you know also because I was asked about the fugu fish. If someone serves you expensive Japanese fish, know about the fish before you eat it. You don’t want to become a zombie! 😉

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