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Fugu


Fugu; pufferfish, can be the most notorious fish in Japanese cuisine. Fugu has the deadly poison called tetrodotoxin in its entire or partial part of internal organs, skins, blood and muscles. Therefore selling untreated fugu to consumers is prohibited. Treated fugu can be eaten as raw; sashimi, hot pot or fried.

Fugu must be cooked by a chef who has the occupational license given by the each local prefectural government. It is based on the each prefectural law, the license can be obtained by either passing the examination or attending the seminar, but the method is decided by the each prefectural government. For example, Osaka prefecture issues the license for persons who attended the seminar but Tokyo issues the license only to the persons who passed the exam. Then, the license is not nationwide license, just valid in each prefecture, which means that the chef who has the license wants to move to Osaka, he has to obtain the license in Osaka too. Therefore it is not the license as like driving license.

Tokyo metropolitan government has its prefectural law for controlling the poisonous parts of the fugu which can be abused by third persons. The organs must be first kept in the stainless box with a lock at the each restaurant, then carried to a specific sanitary site where the organs are incinerated , then the burned organs must be neutralized by the caustic sodas, and the finally buried to the ground.

Although the liver is considered as the most deadly part of the organs, the rumor says that the liver is the most delicious part of the fugu. Of course, providing livers at the restaurants are stricktly prohibited.

Due to natural fugu is hard to catch, the distribution of fugu is mainly by aquaculture. More than 20% of Natural fugu in Japan are caught in Fukuoka and Yamaguchi prefectures where they call Fugu as FUKU but the largest aquaculture fugu comes from Nagasaki prefecture, where nearly 60% of whole aquaculture Fugu in Japan.

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