It's always fun to sample a range of different dishes when you're traveling to exotic parts of the world but some dishes you have to eat at your own risk. Some foods out there, particularly in Asia, are literally deadly. I guess it adds a bit of excitement to eating, like extreme sports, but I think I'd rather stick to safe eating. Anyway here's a list of the deadliest for your reading pleasure.
1: Fugu – Shimonoseki, Japan
You'll already have heard of the pufferfish, a fish whose liver and large internal organs contain lethal amounts of the poisonous toxin “tetrodotoxin” for which there is no antidote. Special fugu chefs in Japan are skilled enough to remove most of the venom but leave enough to give the fish a special flavor but you never know what could happen....
2: Ackee – Jamaica
Ackee is the national fruit of Jamaica. Although it's rich in vitamins and protein, it's lethal if eaten before it's fully matured. It will prevent glucose being released by your liver, which results in constant vomiting and seizures. Sounds pleasant. No thanks.
3: Bullfrog – Africa
I've eaten bullfrog in China (and it was delicious) but never in Africa. Not sure if it's the same or not but the Giant Namibian Bullfrog is a delicacy in the African nation, but it all depends when it is hunted and eaten.If it's not mating season for the frog then eating it may result in renal failure...
4: San Nak Ji – Korea
Just the idea of eating small raw octopus is enough to put me off let alone the thought of the small octopus tentacles making me choke because of their suckers. These small octopus tentacles are cooked in olive oil with sesame seeds which are still stuck with its suckers. Apparently, the trick is to chew thoroughly before swallowing. Yuk.
5: Cassava – Africa, South America
The Cassava is a tropical vegetable from South America, coveted for its juice but its leaves and seeds are full of cyanide so steer clear of those.
6: Casu Marzu – Italy
Italy's Casu Marzu cheese is actually now illegal in Italy. It's essentially made from sheep milk and left out to “rot during which a species of flies help the process by laying eggs inside the cheese. The eggs remain inside until they pop and start eating the cheese. At the end, these worms soften the cheese and make it ready to eat. If that doesn't sound bad enough, in order to reduce its toxicity, you have to eat as it is, worms and all. How can anyone even dare?!
7: Bloody Clams – Shanghai, China
Shanghai's bloody clams are considered a delicacy but they can infect you with hepatitis at the same time. In order for them to be edible, they have to be cooked quickly to eliminate viruses and bacteria that cause hepatitis and dysentery. I'm not sure I'd trust any chef with this task.
Sources of Information
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