Travelers’ Treasures / Torafugu Kaiseki (Tiger globefish dinner set)

Japanese pufferfish is now considered a delicacy, but it was forbidden to eat until the end of the 19th century due to its poisonous liver and ovaries. However, Hirobumi Ito, the first prime minister of Japan, was struck by the taste of such a flavorful fish, and in 1894 the restriction on eating pufferfish was lifted, but only in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

Eating pufferfish later became widespread throughout Japan, and the fish is processed and prepared using the refined techniques developed by culinary experts in the city of Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi, the prefecture where the ban had been lifted. Quick freezing these preparations is Torafugu Kaiseki.

Pufferfish is of a firm, chewable texture, and while its flavor is certainly straightforward on the palate, diners can also enjoy the visual beauty of a platter of sashimi, sliced raw fish. A deliciousness that never becomes dull, it is a perfect complement to Japanese sake. This representative taste of Japan, pufferfish, can now be savored at home as well.

Price: ¥5,400

Manufacturer: Nippon Foods Co. in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture (

Photos and information except for prices from The Wonder 500 (

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