Trivia: Emperor of Japan is Forbidden from Eating Fugu

Here's a piece of trivia for you: Pufferfish or fugu is a delicacy in Japan. The fish is eaten raw as a sashimi. When prepared correctly, the flesh of the fish gives a tingling sensation on the tongue. This, turns out is due to a non-lethal dose of tetrodotoxin, a potent neurotoxin with no antidote.

If prepared improperly, say if the chef cut into the liver by accident, then you could die from it. Because it is a neurotoxin, you would be completely paralyzed and cannot breathe. Death occurs within 4 to 24 hours, during which you are completely conscious over what's happening.

Because of this reason, fugu is the only delicacy officially forbidden to the Emperor of Japan. For his own safety. Now you know.

Cute pic of baby pufferfish is found at gigglesugar - Thanks Jon Jason!

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A few years back, I had Fugu Sashimi in a tiny restaurant just outside of Shibuya. Wasn't all that exciting - and the taste wasn't anything memorable. Except for a short lived cocaine-esque tingle on my lips and tongue, it was just like any other Sashimi dish (except it's really really expensive for such a minor thrill).
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