Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Don't Eat the Balls
MSNBC reports that seven Japanese diners were poisoned by an incompetent blowfish chef in Tsuruoka City in northern Japan this past Monday. The party ordered blowfish sashimi (pictured above in its peony-like glory), which is a standard delicacy in such restaurants. They also ordered grilled blowfish testicles (blessedly not pictured above).
That was their mistake.
Most of the blowfish's body is perfectly safe to eat, but the highest concentration of poison lies in the ovaries, liver and, well, the balls. Experienced blowfish chefs know how to deal with this—by which I mean they don’t serve these things to customers at all. Yes, this backwater chef was “negligent,” but the diners were also taking a foolish risk, in my opinion.
Still, as the blowfish seduction dinner in my novel, Amorous Woman, illustrates, we all are drawn to a dinner of this puffy sea creature's flesh--as much to flirt with danger as to enjoy the delicious flavor. But you’re much more likely to court a new lover rather than Mr. Death if you remember one key rule:
Don’t eat the balls :-).