photo/ willow/ magpie tales
WE WERE PLAYING TRUTH OR DARE. AND I DARED MY PALS TO JOIN ME for a very special fish dinner. Not such a big deal on its face, but jaws dropped when I told them what I had in mind. How about a bit of Fugu?
The infamous puffer fish, lethally poisonous if prepared incorrectly. But a notorious and very celebrated dish in Japanese cuisine. Japanese Roulette, any one? I merely wanted to try a new restaurant around the corner. After all, there are about 17 licenced Fugu restaurants in the US, and 12 are in New York City. So how bad can that be?
For some reason I was faced with scepticism. This from a group that's planning an excursion to investigate Mothman sightings. There is a festival on Sept. 17, not too late to join the adventure...anyway...
The Japanese Emperor is forbidden to eat Fugu. From time to time Fugu has been totally banned. The Tiger Blowfish, which is the most poisonous, is also the most edible. The Ministry of Health has a list which shows parts that can be consumed safely. The best time to eat Fugu is autumn and winter. If you die of Fugu poisoning, your friends will know, because you will look like a dead fish. I just made that up....
Nowadays most Fugu sold comes from fish with a small amount of toxin. The "Forbidden Fruit" is the liver, still eaten by fools, and amateur cooks, often with fatal results.
A dish of Fugu can cost about $50. in Japan. A full dinner, is $200. Due to the expense, the fish is sliced very carefully to obtain the largest possible amount without poison. A Hiki knife is used to slice the fish, and is usually stored very carefully in a separate location.
I'd like to add that even though I'm inviting my friends to some Fugu and Chips, I do understand their point of view. They may be influenced by the fact that Fugu is totally banned in the European Union.
I don't like to eat alone and am still waiting for some takers. Anyone??
The great poet, Buson (1716-1783) wrote this famous Senryu:
I cannot see her tonight
I have to give her up
So I will eat Fugu.
Once again I thank Willow at magpie tales for thinking up this dare, and urge you to check out the other participants!!