|Tora Fugu - Takifugu rubribes|
Fugu is the Japanese name of a fish in the Tetraodontidae family which is commonly known as the puffer or blowfish.
There are about 185 species of this fish, 22 of which are known to be edible.
Fugu is served in a variety of ways the most common being Sashimi where the fishes flesh is cut into delicately fine slices and also Fuguchiri, a famous Japanese seaweed based hotpot.
This species of fish valued in Japan is famous as well as notorious for its poisonous innards, including its liver and the females ovaries which are particularly toxic. The most famous species is the Tora Fugu (Takifugu rubribes), this is also the most expensive species available.
The preparation of Fugu is now strictly controlled in Japan and the various other countries who dare to indulge in this delicacy, eating Fugu is known by many as the Japanese version of Russian roulette.
The Japanese government decided to make it compulsory in 1949, that those Chefs who were to prepare this potentially lethally poisonous species would have to pass a strict exam consisting of both written and practical aspects and that they were specially trained.
A lof of skill is involved in the preparation and the Chef must avoid contaminating the edible flesh with the highly toxic innards which consequently must be kept in a secure area out of harms way when removed. They are then taken to the local authorities where they are incinarated.
The Japanese still use the fishes fins to flavour Sake with, after they are salted, dried out then lightly toasted.
Although now extremely unlikely, the added excitement of possibly dicing with death has without doubt made this delicacy as popular as it is today.