Auctioned fugu, or puffer-fish, are gutted and cleaned in the Japanese port city of Shimonoseki by experts before being delivered to the morning fish market. The liver and ovaries, which harbour a deadly toxin, must be removed whole. One of the world's most expensive foods, the flesh of the fugu is a national delicacy, and meals in a speciality restaurant can cost a few hundred dollars. Fugu eating also carries a risk of poisoning, as the liver and the sexual organs of the female conatin tetrodotoxin (TTX), a toxin 250 times more deadly than cyanide, weight for weight. There is no antidote, and each year, despite elaborate precautions that include licensing fugu chefs, a few people die. RECIPES AVAILABLE..
© Michael Freeman.
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