Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Wordy Wednesday - Party Food

I know that some of you will be planning your halloween parties, so here is a selection of food that might go down a "trick or treat" on that special night. There's an added bonus that most of it is deadly.


This is a Japanese delicacy, which has the slight drawback that the fish contain poison that is 1,200 times as lethal as cyanide. Each fish has enough poison to kill 30 people. It paralyses your nervous system, so that you can't move or speak, but are conscious as you die. Even if they get you to a hospital, there's no antidote.

Chefs train for years to prepare this, and then have to go through a test which involves preparing and eating it. Only a third of them pass, though not many of the failures actually die.

Once they pass the test, they are licensed not to kill. Although some famous Japanese actor is supposed to have walked into a restaurant and insisted on being served four portions of the poisonous bits. He died, and the chef lost his license.

Apparently they often leave a little of the poison in the food so that your mouth goes a bit numb. At least you hope that's all that goes numb. This, added to the fact that it's expensive, is why I'll stick to Fish Fingers.


Another Japanese delicacy is raw horse meat. I know this doesn't count as a deadly food (it's probably more dangerous alive), but it is rather gross. Apparently freshness is very important when it comes to horse, so I suppose cooking it would spoil that. If I'm ever dying of starvation in the middle of nowhere, and the only place for miles around is a sushi bar with an old chef who's hands shake, and it's a choice between fugu and horse, I think I'll go for the fugu.


I'm thinking here of the ones that are bright green round the edges. Do you ever eat those ones? The green contains a deadly poison. Only a little bit of it, though, which is good news for blind people...

Look out for the green ones


These are deadly if you have a nut allergy, or if you choke on them, or you get hit on the head by some falling off a tree. Or if you stand on one and fall over onto a busy road or a railway track. Eating some varieties involves the use of nutcrackers, and you may slip, cut yourself and die of gangarene.

Anyway, when I eat pistachios I always get very dirty nails. Perhaps you're supposed to wash them (the nuts) first. They also create a lot of rubbish. Even though the shells are likely to be more biodegradable than your average carrier bag, I did wonder whether or not there were any uses for them. Then I found this web page and realised that the answer was "no".


Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, apparently took nitroglycerine (which his factory made), and was dependent on it. Or maybe he just liked the taste. He lived into his 60s, so presumably he wasn't a smoker. It turns out that they really do use it to treat chest pains and heart problems. Though they call it something slightly less explosive sounding. It's the bottle in your medicine cabinet that doesn't say "Shake well before use."

There you go. Everything you need to make your party go off with a bang...


catscratch said...

I remember an episode from one of the early seasons of The Simpsons about Fugu.

I needed to giggle. Thanks!

Jean Knee said...

doesn't anything that ugly just scream POISON!! to you? (the fish not the horse)

Brian o vretanos said...


I don't think I saw that one.

I'm glad it raised a giggle!

Jean Knee:

Yes, centuries of evolution have produced a horrible looking poisonous fish, and sensible other animals that wouldn't eat it. Unfortunately the sushi chefs appear to have evolved somewhat faster ;-)

Jean Knee said...

other almost interesting facts:

My grandma had nitro pills for her heart

she also smoked while using her oxygen machine

she never blew up

Brian o vretanos said...

Jean Knee:

Now you come to mention it, exploding grandmothers aren't something you hear about on a daily basis. I wonder why that is?

Jean Knee said...

no idea

Chris Wood said...

Those lucky blind crisp eaters!

I thought that was very funny.

So ... licensed to NOT kill? That new Bond movie isn't looking so good after all ...

Bee said...

I love pistachios and my nails never get dirty. I have long nails so maybe that's why.

You know what's really good? Pistachio ice cream! Yum!

Bee said...

I'm lucky I don't like fish so I'll never be in danger of eaten a poisonous one without knowing. Isn't steak tartar raw meat too?

Dan said...

If you are a horse eater, please do not stop eating horse, PLEASE.
If you do I'll be jobless.
If you are not a horse eater, please become one.

Brian o vretanos said...


I'm currently in negotiations to sell the Bond people my new script.

It involves a villain called Blowfish whose evil plan for world domination is to wipe out all the world's leaders. He's going to hire scuba-diving sushi chefs to cut all the fugu open so that their poison gets into the sea and contaminates the caviar just in time for the annual UN world leader's nosh-up.

So Bond has to patrol the beaches pretending to be a holidaying playboy. I've even offered to play the lead role if they can get Halle Berry (and her bikini) back, but for some reason they're not keen...

Brian o vretanos said...


Yes, steak tartar is raw. Personally I like my steak medium rare, though.

I've never tried pistachio ice cream.


I thought that horse meat was used for pet food? Do you eat it? What does it taste like?

Kat said...

Yeah! Never! forget to wash your nuts. ROFL that cracked me up.

Brian o vretanos said...


I normally only wash my hands before eating...

Dan said...

No, I make tons of leather from the hide.