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Weird World News: Serving surf ‘n’ turf – from love to six feet under

PHUKET: This week’s Weird World News round-up serves up an awkward and dangerous mix of surf ‘n’ turf, taking you from cheap love, to a fishy and possibly untimely death and finally wrapping you up like a filet mignon and burying you.

Japanese chefs balloon up over new blowfish laws

A NEW law coming into affect in October is cutting out the hearts of the highly trained and licensed fugu (blowfish) chefs of Tokyo, Reuters reported.

For more than 60 years, slicing and dicing blowfish in Tokyo has been the calling for a small group of strictly regulated and licensed chefs, due to the deadly toxicity of parts of the fish.

The poison known as tetrododoxin is found in parts of the blowfish, including the liver, heart, intestines and eyes, and is so powerful that even a tiny amount will kill. Every year there are reports of people dying after preparing blowfish at home.

“We have spent time and money in order to obtain and use the blowfish license, but with these new rules anybody can handle blowfish even without a license,” fugu chef Hashimoto told Reuters.

The Tokya Metropolitan Government said the change in the law is hoped to slash the prices of fugu dishes, bringing Tokyo level with the rest of the nation.

“Outside of Tokyo, the regulations for blowfish are even more relaxed, and yet there are hardly any poison-related accidents,” Hironobu Kondo, an official at the city’s Food Control Department, told Reuters.

Though thrill-seeking diners are reputed to seek out chefs who leave just enough of the poison to make the lips tingle, blowfish professionals scoff at this as urban legend, noting that ingesting even that much of the poison would be hazardous.

“I don’t want people to forget that you can actually die from eating blowfish,” said Hashimoto.

May you be forever wrapped in bacon

A BACON coffin is one of the newest products to hit the American-bacon-obsessed market.

There were scoffs when American chain-restaurant Deny’s introduced its bacon ice cream sundae last year, but that hardly raises the lid on J&D Foods, which has started selling a casket with an unmistakably bacon-strip paint job.

Looks aren’t everything, and the company that brought you bacon salt and baconnaise knows it. The casket comes with a bacon-scented air freshener to keep corpses smelling delicious.

“We think that your final resting place deserves the eternal glory that is bacon,” the company’s website said.

For those thinking of making the almost 93,000-baht investment for a final send-off, the casket is made of 18-gauge gasketed steel lined with ivory crepe linen and comes with a memorial tube and an adjustable bed and mattress.

To see the video launch of the “crispy coffin”, click here.

— Isaac Stone Simonelli

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