Stepping up to bat for the lethal fruits, durian is a fruit that grows in southeast Asia. Unlike the ackee, durian is not a thing of beauty by any means. The thick, spike-covered exterior is a pretty blatant warning that you don't want what's inside. In case you're too dense to pick up on that hint, the fruit literally smells like manure. Many mass transit systems in Asia forbid people from riding with durian for that very reason.
Much like the ackee, the inside of the fruit is delectable. Soft and white, durian is comparable to many other fruits in flavor but differs in that it contains a compound that hinders the liver's ability to break down alcohol. Thus, anyone eating durian and kicking back with a cool Miller Lite greatly increase their risks of permanently damaging their livers. Severe alcohol poisoning is commonly reported as a result of eating durian and drinking.
Fish is a primary staple of the Japanese diet and much of the nation's cuisine focuses on different preparations of different species. Naturally you're bound to hit a snag, and that snag happens to be a puffer fish.
The puffer fish has a long history of being lethal if consumed, dating back into the nation's ancient history. Fugu has been banned in Japan on two separate (and lengthy) occasions. It always manages to come back, however, because people just can't get enough of eating poison. Several methods of safely preparing the fish have been developed since the initial banning but despite this it remains the only food that the Emperor is forbidden to eat. Some refer to the fish as teppo, which translates as “gun”. Either they take fish seriously or guns are incredibly adorable.
The skin and organs of the fugu contain the poison tetrodotoxin, a channel blocker that slowly paralyzes the muscles of those that consume it until they asphyxiate, choking on their own throat. Despite this gruesome death (or perhaps because of it) the fugu has become a sought after delicacy. Strict regulations are in place to ensure that the meat sold in restaurants is properly prepared, which generally means separating the muscle from the organs and skin. To become a licensed fugu chef, one must first pass a two-to-three year program before taking a test. The test itself ends with preparing fugu and eating it yourself, so you know you didn't study enough when you've become a bloated corpse.
Know some exotic dish that as delicious as it is deadly? Once choke on a Chicken McNugget? Post a comment below!
- - Sannakji: http://www.bl.uk/learning/images/ideas/octopus-lg.jpg http://declubz.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/live-octopus.jpg
- - Ackee: http://playingspoons.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/ziggy-stardust.jpg http://cdn.webecoist.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/03-ackee-fruit.jpg
- - Giant Bullfrog: http://www.nps.gov/prsf/naturescience/images/bullfrog_1.jpg
- - Durian: http://apanyangku.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/durian.jpg
- - Fugu: http://thewordiswhite.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/4.jpg http://kodiakak.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/fugu.jpg