Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Thrill-seeking Gourmets... LOL

I never knew I was a thrill-seeking gourmet, till I read this article on yesterday...

Illinois Man Arrested for Extremely Poisonous Puffer Fish Toxin

Edward Bachner, 35, was charged with one count of illegal possession of tetrodotoxin, a felony. He was being held in federal custody pending a detention hearing Wednesday.

Using the alias Edmond Backer, Bachner allegedly claimed he was a doctor when he ordered 98 milligrams of the toxin from a New Jersey chemical company, the FBI said. An employee of the company became suspicious due to the large amount ordered and alerted the FBI.

Bachner was arrested Monday when he allegedly tried to get the tetrodotoxin from a member of the FBI, authorities said. Bachner faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted, according to the FBI. His telephone number was unlisted.

It's not clear why Bachner wanted the toxin, authorities said.

Tetrodotoxin is a poison so potent the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it can "produce rapid and violent death." It is 1,200 times deadlier than cyanide, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Puffer fish, called fugu in Japan, is consumed by thrill-seeking gourmets once the poison is removed. Eating the toxin can cause paralysis, vomiting, heart failure and death.

I'm practically rolling on the floor laughing. Fugu (puffer fish) is a VERY common food in Japan and eating it is not the least bit associated with thrill-seeking! It is especially common in our area, because the most delicious variety is found abundantly in the ocean very near us. But stores or restaurants that serve it have it prepared by licensed people who know very well how to prepare it safely. The reproductive organs of the fish are poisonous and if the fish is prepared without the reproductive organ being opened, then it is perfectly safe. In Japan probably less than 10 people die of Fugu poisoning every year and those cases are almost always people who tried catching and preparing the fish themselves!

It just cracks me up, the misconceptions that can happen about international cultures...

I LOVE Fugu, it is one my favorite foods. I guess I'm a thrill-seeking gourmet! Cool!!!


Toni said...

Admittedly, the thought of eating this fish has always scared me. It's not rational, I know. And the fact of the matter is, ANY meat traditionally eaten right here in the USA is potentially toxic. Thus, I believe you're correct in wondering what all the hype is for concerning this fish.

Anonymous said...

You thrill-seeker you!!