Food + Wine

World's Scariest Foods

Fugu

What it is: A type of puffer fish poisonous enough to cause violent, swift death

Where it's served: Japan

Want a bite? Fugu is so dangerous that chefs who prepare it in restaurants must be specially trained, licensed, and certified. There are no prerequisites, however, for eating the stuff, and some diners pay in the range of $400 for a four-course meal of fugu. Fugu's cachet in Japan is a little difficult to understand, considering that a) it can kill you so effectively you almost think it wants to kill you, and b) it tastes exactly like rubber bands. Fugu is only available from October through March, and the classic fugu presentation is fugu-sashi, in which the wildly poisonous flesh is sliced paper-thin and arranged in the shape of a chrysanthemum, with grated radish and sauce for dipping. When radish is the least horrible thing on your plate, you know you ordered the wrong thing.

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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