Saturday, February 13, 2016

Would you like animal testicles with that?

"Blowfish testicles prepared by an unauthorized chef sickened seven diners in northern Japan and three were hospitalized after eating the poisonous delicacy.”
That was the opening paragraph of a news story I read a while ago.
First of all, I did not even know blowfish had testicles.
Second, even if I did know that, I doubt I would make them part of a culinary quest.
“Who wants fish genitals?”
“Ooooh, I do, I do.”
Thirdly, they are poisonous if they are not prepared properly.
OK, let me get this straight – not only are they testicles, but they are poisonous testicles.
Mmmmm, give me more of that.
The story continued, “Shortly after, the diners developed limb paralysis and breathing trouble and started to lose consciousness - typical signs of blowfish poisoning - and were rushed to a hospital for treatment. Blowfish poison is nearly 100 times more poisonous than potassium cyanide, according to the Ishikawa Health Service Association. It can cause death within an hour and a half after consumption.”
And I thought a gut bomb from Raunchy Ronny’s was bad for you. At least a Big Mac won’t kill you, well, not in 90 minutes anyway.
I do not mean to insult anyone who has a thing for dinning on the reproductive organs of aquatic life, but to my Canadian mind it is a little, well, icky.
I have long been interested in Asian culture, such as Japan, China, Korea etc., but some of the food they eat is less than appetizing, and poisonous testicles comes pretty close to the top of the list. Let’s just say I would rather eat my own sautéed boogers.
Eating deep-fried bugs also ranks pretty high on my list of stuff I will never ingest. I saw a documentary on some country where they munched on batches of broiled bugs.
I cannot remember exactly what country it was, but the image of several baskets full of the multi-legged critters and people scooping them out like jelly beans is forever etched in my mind.
“Excuse me sir, can I interest you in some broiled beetles?”
“No thanks, I am trying to cut down on my bug intake, but I could go for some testicles.”
I know what some of you are thinking and you are right: to other cultures our food is completely disgusting and unappealing.
Fair enough, I can think of many food products consumed right here in North America that are equally disturbing as fish gonads.
Pretty much all types of fast food aside, I have just three words for you: Rocky Mountain Oysters.
Or as the working class calls them: bull’s balls a la creme.
While they may not be poisonous, they are still rather unpleasant to think about as a main course.
I guess if I was starving to death, anything could be considered food and if it came down to dying or chowing down on an animal’s naughty bits, well fire up the barbecue and pass me a fork.
However, “starving to death” is the pertinent detail of such a dinning experience.
Who was the first person to try these anyway?
“Y’know Hank I am famished. Neutering all these bulls shore do work up an appetite. We have spaghetti, but no meatballs. Hey, wait a second, pass me the frying pan, I wanna try something.”
Another completely disgusting food I actually have eaten is liver.
My mom made the meal from hell at least three times a year and we had to sit at the table and choke it down.
We could not leave until dinner was done and that included every last morsel of animal liver.
I think if it came to forcing down liver or munching on the love spuds of a fish, I have to go with the fish.

Copyright 2016, Darren Handschuh

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