These are six of the world’s deadliest foods, and where to get them.
Sannakji (live baby octopus) will kill you
No doubt you’ve witnessed celebrated TV personality-chef Anthony Bourdain and David Chang (of Momofuku fame) savour still-squirming baby octopus on-screen. An authentic Korean delicacy, San Nak Ji isn’t for the faint hearted. Fun fact: live octopus are highly conscious that they’re about to be eaten and will often use their suction pads to latch on your throat as a defense mechanism – that’s why some diners who don’t chew properly before swallowing can choke to death. If you can get past the fear, a sesame-oil inflected Sannakji is sweet, slimy and wholly rewarding.
How you’ll die from Sannakji
Asphyxiation. While Adult octopus are often cut up and served, baby octopus are served whole, which increases your chance of choking.
Where to eat Sannakji in the UK
Due to a high number of food-poisoning cases, Sannakji is banned in the Britain. However, you might be able to order it off the menu at select restaurants at New Malden (London’s Koreatown).
Fugu (pufferfish) will kill you
Deadlier than cyanide, yet sweeter and more delicate than any white-fish you’ve tasted, Fugu is a thrill-seeking epicurean’s dream, and so poisonous that the highly-prized fish can only be prepared by chefs who carry a license to cook it – it has, after all, claimed the lives of 23 Japanese diners since 2000. Chefs in Japan reportedly spend at least three years learning how to prepare the dish, and only 1 in 3 pass the test. Not that successful chefs have had a bulletproof record. In 2011, a two-Michelin-starred chef in Tokyo specializing in fugu poisoned a diner and had his license revoked. If you can stomach a round of Russian Roulette, then you’ll find that Fugu is surprisingly versatile, often served raw, as sashimi, grilled, fried, smoked or lightly simmered in hot-pot or porridge.
How you’ll die from Fugu
Each blowfish contains enough of the poison tetrodotoxin to kill 30 adults.
Where to eat Fugu in the UK
It’s banned across the EU, but Fugu is available to private diners as part of the highly secretive Fugu Supper Club, which serves a £250 six-course fugu menu.
Blood Clams will kill you
A delicacy to serious thrill-seeking Shanghainese diners, blood clams are so named because they’re parboiled quickly, for 20 seconds, in order to retain their sweet brininess and an excessive amount of blood. The result? A breeding ground of viruses and bacteria like Hepatitis A and E, typhoid and dysentery. Only serious foodies take great risks which rarely pay off. Last year alone, blood clams infected 300,000 and killed 31 diners despite being outlawed in China (any guilty distributor is fined ten times their salary). The good news? Slightly fresher blood clams are legally served raw in Dave Pasternack’s restaurant, Esca, in New York City, and in food emporium Eataly.
How you’ll die from blood clams
Diners will have a 15 per cent chance of contracting hepatitis. Far less sexy than choking to death, but nobody should ever look forward to a hepatitis ordeal.
Where to eat blood clams in the UK
You won’t find any blood clams anywhere in Britain (at least legally). Your best best is a six-hour flight to sample the sweet bivalve at Pasternack’s restaurant in New York.