Fugu, Monkey Brains, and the 8 Other Deadliest Dishes in the World

Are they really worth the risk?


It’s important to treat the world’s deadliest dishes with respect.

Throughout history, securing a meal always carried with it a degree of risk. Food was scarce, and as a result, sustenance often took precedence over safety.

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Thanks to modern agricultural science, technology, and preservation techniques, many of us are fortunate enough to live in a world where food is always accessible and doesn’t pose us any immediate danger. But despite having all varieties of food available, people are driven to push the boundaries of personal safety in order to try foods which may cause them serious harm. The culinary adventurer is both lauded and criticized: their courage admired; their carelessness chastised.

It’s important, however, to treat the world’s deadliest dishes with respect. They are more than just a test of bravery. Many of these exotic dishes were born out of necessity rather than for flavor or intrigue, and remain important symbols of past and present culinary histories. Some dishes, like cassava bread or akee and saltfish, are not dangerous when prepared correctly, while other foods like san-nakji (chopped, live octopus) are just flat-out risky to eat, no matter the preparation.


Whether you’re paying homage to a cuisine, testing your courage, or are just curious, here are the 10 deadliest dishes in the world.