When I first saw this headline Seven ill from eating blowfish testicles , as I did my usual early-morning media scan yesterday, I couldn't resist laghing out loud at the sheer funny sound of the story; and yet another example of some of those crazy Japanese people and the nutty stuff (fnaar) that they eat...
A number of other things occurred to me almost immediately:
It's not often we see the word testicles in print; and even rarer in a headline! The sub-editor must have been amused. The article goes on to discuss the "testes" (another rare word in the press) of the blowfish and how the "...testes, known as shirako, are praised as creamy and rich in taste." Ohh eeew, as my daughter(s) would say.
What the hell is a blowfish? (I'm assuming they could be similar to the "toadies" or "puffer fish" that hang around piers and jetties in Australian coastal/estuary waters). Their Japanese name is "fugu" - well, fugu'd if I've ever heard of them.
A brief search reveals a similarly unusual tale about a thirteen-year-old Cambodian lad who had accidently trapped a "puffer fish" in his net whilst fishing last year. Enraged, the wacky little fishie had "attacked the boy's scrotum" when freed, the Sydney Morning Herald had breathlessly reported.
Angry Puffer Fish Goes Nuts
And just while we're on fish testicles in general - has anyone particularly noticed the crown jewels on your average flathead or cocky (or even that?) salmon, as you clean your catch? I'm not sure how many thousands of the poor little beggars I have put to the sword over the years - but can't say I've seen a nutbag on any one of them.
More than likely it's all internal, I 'm guessing...however, many inquisitive childhood post-mortem examinations, searching through the entrails, Oracle-like, of scad mackerel, mullet, flatties - even flounder with their weird setup! - lying naked on the white plastic cleaning board or a pile of newspaper sheets, revealed absolutely nothing that even vaguely resembled testicles!
Perhaps it's just fugu, then, that are more obviously endowed (to their detriment, it would appear). The story goes on to say that "...Fugu, cooked in a cauldron or eaten in raw slices, is appreciated in Japan as a culinary delight, especially in the cold winter months." and "...Blowfish is even called teppou (gun) in western Japan for its famous danger."
Dangerous, indeed - and weird.