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 :-).

5 comments:

MB (Leah) said...

Wow, I thought you can die from that. They're lucky, but yes, stupid.

The owner is even more stupid, hiring someone who has no knowledge of exactly how to prepare it.

Donna said...

The owner was the chef. Too ambitious for his own good!

Hey, MB, I'm inviting everyone to Japan for dinner on Saturday--want to come? (Or join us in South America tomorrow, too!)

Erobintica said...

I heard about this - when I was a kid (maybe 7 or 8) I got to try blowfish - we went out fishing with family friends and we caught them and they cooked them for us. I loved it - and ate what the adults wouldn't. Now I think of that and wonder wtf my parents were thinking, but it was one of the highlights of my young life.

Not sure I'd want to try blowfish again until my kids are all grown, hahaha.

my spam word is - unfat

haha - this blog feast will help with that

Craig Sorensen said...

I love the sashimi picture. So delectable!

Before he got out his knife, maybe the "chef" should have googled:

"blowfish preparation no balls"

;-)

Donna said...

The one time I ate blowfish it was really tasty. Again the danger is there only with inexperienced chefs, so any busy restaurant in a major city is safe, if blowfish is their specialty.

That is TOO weird about the spam word. And blowfish is a healthy dish, except when it's deadly, lol.