The List: Five dangerous delicacies

By Megan Singleton

Megan Singleton finds some delicacies that belong in the danger zone.
In Japan it takes three years to gain the qualifications to prepare fugu (puffer fish).
Photo / 123RF
In Japan it takes three years to gain the qualifications to prepare fugu (puffer fish). Photo / 123RF

I'm not very daring when it comes to fear factor food, so you can count me out of even deep-fried huhu grubs - but these delicacies are downright lethal!


You might know this tasty dish as the cute puffer fish. But cute it is not. People eat it in Japan because they clearly put their trust (and their life) in the knowledge that the chef knows how to prepare it. If the toxin in the liver and reproductive organs is not removed it will paralyse your muscles and eventually you will suffocate. Apprentices train for three years before they're qualified to prep this little dish.


This cheese might not kill you, but as it's a delicacy crawling in maggots, my bet is on you getting pretty sick. It's deliberately left out so flies can lay eggs on it which apparently assist with the fermentation. You'll be hard-pressed to find it though as the food police in the EU have banned it, but with the right smile at a local Sardinian you just might get lucky.


You might be tempted to order this octopus from the menu in Korea, but be warned: even after cooking they still wriggle and their tentacles still suck - including on to your throat. The danger comes from the choking hazard but I guess you could mitigate that by finely slicing the little sucker.


Yes we've all munched on cassava chips in the Pacific, but did you know if you chew into it raw it converts into cyanide? Best eaten fried, unless you are wanting a dish to eradicate opossums.


If they offer you a plate of this dried fish in Greenland know this: it does not have a urinary tract. So? That means a lifetime of waste is stored in its flesh. To eat this nasty little number, they filter it for six months. I think I'll have the beef thanks.

- NZ Herald

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