“Fugu” is a special dish prepared from Takifugu (a kind of pufferfish), one of the most poisonous fish es in the world. According to Wikipedia:
“Fugu can be lethally poisonous to humans due to its tetrodotoxin, meaning it must be carefully prepared to remove toxic parts and avoid contaminating the meat. The restaurant preparation of fugu is strictly controlled by law in Japan and several other countries, and only chefs who have qualified after three or more years of rigorous training are allowed to prepare the fish.”
The same article has data about poisoning incidents and legal count deads. Unfortunately, there is no known treatment or antidote for this poison. You can read a two-star Michelin restaurant poisoning story on WSJ.
When I learned the story of the fish, I asked myself, “ Who tries to eat this?” and answered myself as “People are crazy.” As a marketer, I know that people’s decisions are not rational. There is only one logical approach to eating fugu: there is no food except fugu. No sane human being gets the poisoning risk in any other circumstances. But life is not wise. There are tons of people trying fugu and give more than $200 for a dish. Why?
The first reason I consider can be “culture.” Japanese has a unique culture, and most of the time, culture does not work logically. There are lots of ridiculouscultural habits going on all over the world. Eating is not different. Geography, climate, food force culture, and culture affect country cuisine. Eating fugu can be a part of Japanese culture. It is an answer, but it is still not rational. Also, it only explains, “why do Japanese eat it?” What about tourists?
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