Shawn Mahaney

Last Updated: 4/3/2009

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Gender: Male
Status: Single
Age: 37
Sign: Cancer

State: South Carolina
Country: US
Signup Date: 5/22/2005

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Thursday, January 29, 2009 

Current mood:  hungry
Category: Life
I wonder sometimes about how certain food items become accepted as food.  Not stuff like apples, that's just obvious: Pick, bite, chew, discover that it tastes good and doesn't kill you, pick more and repeat.

What's made me wonder are things like fermented beverages.  Beer has been around for a long time, well before the days of stainless steel pressure vessels.  I'm thinking there may have been some trial-and-error involved...  "Hmm... me find puddle of moldy brackish crud, where grain was spilled at harvest.  Something smell good, but...  Hey Grog, you try first!"

And Grog died happy.

So our inventor worked at it some more, knowing that there was something good in there.  Eventually the bad part got sorted out and live became better for everyone.  But that's from beer.  I will never understand how this story comes up every year or so:

"Blowfish poisoning sends 7 to hospital in Japan"
"Iwase said the seven men ordered sashimi and grilled blowfish testicles at the restaurant Monday night.

Shortly after, they developed limb paralysis and breathing trouble and started to lose consciousness - typical signs of blowfish poisoning - and were rushed to a hospital for treatment, Iwase said.

A 68-year-old diner remained hospitalized in critical condition with respiratory failure and two others, aged 55 and 69, were in serious condition, he said."

Right.  So, explain to me how this got figured out in the old days. 'Ok, I made a new dish. Here ,you try!'  {chew, chew...  ack!  CHOKE...  thump} 'Well then, back to the kitchen.  I wonder which part is doing that....'

In this case I don't get the motivation in the first place.  There's plenty of other fish parts, nutritious if not delicious, with a hundred times the mass of the little fishy nuts.  But people (ok, Japanese actually) want this so badly that people will *impersonate* a licenced fugu chef!

""It's scary. If you go to a decent-looking restaurant that serves fugu, you would assume a cook has a proper fugu license," Iwase said...
The owner of the restaurant in Tsuruoka city, who is also the chef, had no license to serve blowfish and was being questioned on suspicion of professional negligence, police official Yoshihito Iwase said."

For background,
"Blowfish poison, called tetrodotoxin, 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.

Three people died and 44 others were sickened by blowfish poisoning in 2007 - most of them after catching the fish and cooking it at home - according to the Health Ministry."

It's one of the cleanest assasination methods in a Hitman level.

Currently playing:
Hitman Trilogy (Includes Blood Money, Silent Assassins, and Contracts)
Release date: 2007-06-19

Funnily, Robert and I have had conversations questioning both of the substances mentioned in your blog!...wondering about beer origins, and who was the first to discover it was a good idea to drink substances that had fermented... And, separately, wondering WHY the Japanese consider the blowfish such a delicacy in the first place. I've heard that the taste isn't even all that spectacular or unique. Seems a ridiculous risk.
Posted by Hilary on Thursday, January 29, 2009 - 6:36 PM
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