Are you a traveler? Nothing can stop you from sampling the authentic, local delicacies from around the world? Well, there are many different cuisines around the world which may be harmful to your body, if not prepared with well-trained hands. To dodge fatal consequences and to prepare yourself beforehand, it is necessary to know about dangerous foods you might find in your next overseas tour.
Here are the 10 most dangerous foods you can find around the world.
1. Fugu or Pufferfish
This authentic delicacy which is called Fugu in Japan is only prepared by well trained and skilled chefs to make it safe to eat. Pufferfish, also known as Blowfish, contains high quantities of tetrodotoxin, a strong neurotoxin used to protect itself from predators. It is said that tetrodotoxin is 1200 times more deadly than cyanide and a very small amount like pinhead is worth enough to kill a person.
The poison attacks a person’s nervous system, rapidly shutting down nerves and your brain, then followed by dizziness, nausea, and headache. Fugu contains lethal amounts of tetrodotoxin in its inner organs like the liver, ovaries, eyes, and skin. You have to make sure that it is properly cleaned and every inch of poisoned flesh is gone. Otherwise, you will asphyxiate and unless you get immediate medical treatments, you will die. Yes, you will certainly die, because there’s no antidote for tetrodotoxin.
2. Baby Octopus
Also known as Sannakji, is a Korean delicacy made with raw, chopped baby octopus and traditionally served with sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds. The octopus is most commonly killed before serving the dish, but, because of the highly complex nervous system of the octopus persists its tentacles to move around, twitching the plate, though there’s no link with the brain. The danger here is, the suction cups in its arm pieces are still active whilst served and unless you chew them well, the active suction cups can stick to your mouth or your throat causing a choking hazard which may sometimes end up with death.
3. Casu Marzu
Casu Marzu is a traditional Italian cheese which is also known as the most dangerous cheese in the world. This cheese is made with Sardinian sheep milk and infested with live maggots to decompose the cheese. Yes, you heard it right. The cheese is exposed to allow the cheese fly to lay eggs in the cheese. Then the eggs are hatched and larvae start feasting through the cheese which immediately starts decomposing and becomes so soft which is ready to eat. What happens next is, people eat cheese. Yes, you guessed right.
They don’t remove the larvae, they eat those white jiggly worms too. The weird part is, once you start eating the cheese the larvae get disturbed and start jumping out. These maggot worms can launch themselves for about 6 inches, and that is why people used to cover the cheese by hand while eating.
4. Blood Clams
Blood clams are a certain type of clam that got their name for having hemoglobin in their tissues. This is a popular delicacy in most of countries, but they are actually dangerous because they ingest various viruses and bacteria including typhoid, hepatitis A and dysentery since they live in lower oxygen environments. In certain countries, the style of preparation of this delicacy is quick boiling, which is, in fact, leaving behind a number of dangerous viruses and bacteria while it is served.
5. Monkey Brains
Eating monkey brains is commonly recognized as a barbarous, merciless often debated strange act. However, in some parts of China, the monkey brain is eaten raw, while it is still alive. Consuming nerve tissues of mammals is extremely dangerous and fatal especially to humans since it can lead to genetically transmissible spongiform encephalopathies like Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
Eating bullfrogs as a snack is popular in some countries. Baked bullfrogs are a national specialty in Namibia. This delicacy is perfectly safe to eat when it is prepared right, but if a young, premature bullfrog is selected, it surely is insecure to eat, because premature bullfrogs carry a toxin that may cause temporary kidney failure or a burning sensation in the urethra. Hence, it is better to leave the preparation of this dish to the pros.
7. Ackee Fruit
Ackee is a native fruit in Tropical West Africa. The unripe and inedible parts of the fruit contain hypoglycin A and hypoglycin B, which are known as “soapberry toxins”. When the fruit turns red, it is ripe and safe to eat, but when it is yellow, it contains levels of the toxin, which, when consumed, could result in constant vomiting, which may end with death. This is called “Jamaican Vomiting sickness”. However, you should not eat black seeds because they are always poisonous.
Fesikh, a popular traditional dish in Egypt, is a fermented, salted and sun-dried gray mullet, which, if not prepared right, can cause botulism poisoning and sometimes even death. Experts recommend immersing the fish in vinegar before it is served can reduce the risk of poisoning.
Hakarl which was first invented by Vikings in Iceland is a fermented shark, made with a special fermentation process for about four to five months. The fermented shark has a very strong smell like ammonia and it may not be a pleasing thing for a first-time consumer because of its pungent smell. Fresh shark meat is highly poisonous and may cause serious health issues because of the large content of urea and trimethylamine oxide.
Cassava, also called yuca or manioc, may be dangerous if consumed raw in large quantities or prepared inappropriately. Cassava is a starchy root and contains high amounts of cyanogenic glycosides which becomes cyanide when prepared incorrectly. It should be soaked and fermented at least a day and should be cooked thoroughly to remove toxins.