How far will you go to experiment on things your taste buds can take? Some people travel to explore the gastronomic wonders of different cultures on different lands. But did you know that there are foods that might just be too deadly for your appetite?
We have listed some of these foods. Read on to explore what dangers some foods can bring.
You might be more familiar to the terms blowfish or puffer fish. Though this creature looks so cute in the ocean, it can kill you when it gets to your plate and it was not properly prepared. In Japan, it takes about three years of training before one can serve this dish. If you are in Japan, you can checkout the stores in Shimonoseki but just make sure you see the papers that the fish is safe to eat. In Mumbai, they have a fugu-trained chef at the Four Seasons.
In case you eat a badly prepared fugu the worst that may come is death. The fish contains a poison called tetrodoxin which can paralyze your muscles and seize your breathing. There is no antidote for the poison. You might be lucky if you make it through the first 24 hours.
Crabs (Latin America)
Crabs can be one of the best thing to have if you love sea foods but if you do not know the rule in cooking it then there is a big threat that you can catch cholera. Back in the 90s, some travelers from the US suffered from cholera when they bought and cooked and packed crabs from Latin America. They survived but it was not a very pleasant experience for sure. Mussels, clams, shrimp, and oysters may also carry the same problem behind the succulent characteristics.
Cholera will not kill you but be ready for voluminous diarrhea and be wary of dehydration.
Casu Marzu (Sardinia)
The Casu Marzu is just like an ordinary Italian cheese but when you know that it can bring you enteric myiasis you know it is a nasty one. Google myiasis and you will find out that it involves larvae of flies. Deduce and you will know that you can have maggots down your tummy and your intestines. Casu Marzu preparation involves leaving it in open air to hasten fermentation. Given the picture, flies and other things can land and lay eggs on the cheese. Some EU members have banned this cheese. You can still buy these from some farmers in Sardinia as an aphrodisiac or for special occasions.
When you consume the cheese and unknowingly ingest the maggots, the tiny creatures can eat up the lining of your gut and intestines causing vomiting and muscle cramps. Eventually, they will find their way out at the end of your digestive tract.
Monkey Brains (Asia)
It is the stuff for urban legends. They say that you get the monkey’s brain while it is still alive. Stories go around that Princess Diana and her former butler had this dish in China. One popstar also received protests from an animal rights group after proclaiming that he ate monkey brains in Asia and found it to be unexciting. Rumors are around that you can still get it in Singapore, Malaysia, and China.
It can be very rare but you can still contract mad cow disease when you eat monkey brains. The virus that causes it is transmitted via neural tissues. Get the picture? Eat monkey brains and you eat where the cause is happily home. Mad cow disease can cause neurological deterioration, dementia, and eventually death.
Wriggling Octopus (Korea)
Also known locally as Sannakji, the mild tasting dish may look not dangerous as long as you know that it has reached your stomach. Else, it can cause choking. It can be a very real threat since the octopus will literally be wriggling since it is prepared alive in the markets of Seoul. See the suction cups? They can really stick to your throat or cheeks. Every year, about six people die in Korea while having this dish.
Remember to chew the octopus well and flush it down with a lot of liquids after. It might be hard to take this while you are sober but locals hinted that it is more dangerous when you have the wriggling octopus while you are tipsy.
Giant Bullfrog (Namibia)
The frog dish can cause your kidneys to fail or worst, it can kill you. There is a reason while cultures around the world who love frog dishes only go for the legs. The body of the frog is a minefield of dangerous toxins. In Namibia though, the whole frog is considered a good delicacy. The bullfrogs are quite big measuring around 20 centimeters across. According to locals, the giant frogs are safer to eat after the third rain or just after the mating season when the levels of toxins in their bodies are a lot lower.
If you eat a bad part of the frog your kidneys can temporarily fail. This is a medical emergency so hopefully helpful locals can hop you to an ambulance, fast.
Ackee Plant (Jamaica)
The fruit looks lovely when plated but before you take any bite make sure it has been prepared well. Eat the improperly cut and peeled ackee can cause the Jamaican vomiting sickness. Read this twice: you can only eat the yellow parts inside. The red and black portions can be deadly. Incidents of poisoning though is very rare. Locals are very familiar with the fruit. In the US, you can even get a canned ackee from some supermarkets.
Eat the safe parts and you can get a lot of protein, vitamin A, and good fatty acids. Getting the Jamaican vomiting sickness though is a totally different story. Your blood sugar will drop to fatal levels and you may even have seizures. Treatment will involve IV fluids, breathing machine, or activated charcoal.
if not, come back tomorrow on journeyetc.com and see what's new :)