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Watch: The Skills Required to Serve Poisonous Fish

Delicious, but potentially deadly

Fugu, or pufferfish, is considered to be a delicacy in Japan, and it's been eaten in the country for centuries. But, anyone who dines on the fish are risking death if the chef preparing their meal isn't properly trained. In this video from Great Big Story, one chef explains what it takes to become a fugu master.

"The authentic dish requires not only authentic ingredients, but also authentic skills," chef Yutaka Sasaki says. Sasaki has been a fugu specialist for 45 years, and if that seems like a long time to devote to one ingredient, he says it takes at least 10 years of apprenticeship to properly handle the fish. Fugu carries a poison in its blood that is deadly when consumed. Victims who ingest the poison experience symptoms that might be caused by nerve gas, and they die of asphyxiation.

So why would anyone eat a fish that carries so much risk? Sasaki calls it a luxury.

"There are so many people who have never tried it, but they want to at least once in their life," the chef says. "It has an indescribable taste. It's mysterious, it's delicious — really delicious."