Japanese Fight Over Detoxed Delicacy

Fugu liver can now be safe, but traditionalists don't want it served
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2008 7:14 AM CDT
Japanese Fight Over Detoxed Delicacy
A ban on fugu remains despite new methods of keeping it poison-free.   ((c) Joshua Rappeneker)

One of Japan's prized delicacies is having an identity crisis: fugu, the pricey puffer fish that's poisonous unless prepared correctly, now has a farmed cousin that's harmless, the New York Times reports. But gourmands looking forward to eating fugu liver—the most delicious and potentially deadly part of the fish—are being thwarted by the fugu industry, which is fighting to keep a ban on the livers, even from detoxed variety.

Worst of all, it looks like the opposition will  deprive connoisseurs of  the chance to try fugu foie gras, which is said to be better than the goose’s, doesn't involve force-feeding and has healthy omega-3 fatty acids, the Times notes. And the question remains as to whether, by detoxifying it, “we took the romance out of fugu,” said a researcher who worked on the project. (More Japan stories.)

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