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The World's 9 Deadliest Delicacies

Posted: 05/26/11 03:26 PM ET

2011-05-23-bloodclamswillsfca.jpg

By Turner Wright for Vagabondish.com

Humans are one of the few creatures on this planet who have the capability of ignoring our basic survival instinct. We jump out of perfectly good airplanes -- something that still sets off alarms in the most veteran skydivers -- and we push ourselves to the edge of death and back with physical demands on our bodies that defy reason with activities like ultra-marathons in the desert, living in microgravity, and setting the world record for holding one's breath under water.

Yet as contradictory as it sounds, testing these limits is probably what makes us feel the most human or the most attuned to nature and our own potential -- particularly when it comes to soaring above the skies, jumping eight feet in the air... and eating the most bizarre, even dangerous, dishes set in front of us on the dinner table.

What are some of the deadliest foods the world has ever seen? Poisonous or harmful by design, not accident, and something that has us questioning our sanity when we choose to take a bite?

- Vagabondish for The Daily Meal

Visit Vagabondish.com for the latest budget travel tips and advice.

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21 Deadly Dishes

Fugu -- Shimonoseki, Japan
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Fugu, also known as pufferfish, is a fish whose liver and internal organs contain deadly amounts of the poison tetrodotoxin, for which there is no known antidote. It might surprise many to know, however, that any fugu chef worth his weight in Japan will attempt to leave just the right amount of poison for a tingling sensation to pass through the diner's tongue, leaving him satisfied with the taste and experience.

Just like climbing the picturesque Mt. Fuji, many westerners try this dish for the experience, at the risk that you may be poisoned. In all honesty, I found it to be somewhat less thrilling than gambling (and this is coming from an adrenaline junkie), even with the threat of death tossed in. Thirty years ago, it caused a stir throughout Japan as Bando Mitsugoro, a famous Kabuki actor, died after eating four servings... though he may have overindulged a bit.

If you are in the mood to "risk your life," be sure to travel to the city of Shimonoseki in western Japan where no fugu-related deaths have ever been reported. In addition, you have the choice of raw fugu sashimi, fried fugu (tastes like chicken), boiled fugu, fugu with miso, and fugu sake.

Related: 21 Deadly Dishes
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