8 Forbidden Delicacies

If “9 Foods You’re Not Allowed To Buy” just left you hungry for more, Newsweek has compiled their list of 8 forbidden delicacies. “Forbidden” in this case, means that the dishes may be restricted or socially unacceptable. While a few overlap from the other list there are some new tasty morsels here to challenge your palette. Maggot-cheese, anyone? The list, inside…

8. Foie Gras
To produce foie gras, ducks and geese are force fed up to 4 pounds of food a day. While Chicago has lifted its ban on the little livers, California will enact a ban on foie gras beginning 2012 because of animal cruelty concerns.

7. Lobsters
Whole Foods and some other supermarket chains stopped selling live lobsters in 2006 because PETA and other animal rights groups have said that lobsters may not be treated humanely in transport. Many believe lobsters feel pain. For example in Reggio, Italy it is illegal to boil lobsters alive.

6. Haggis
Consisting mostly of sheep lung, liver and heart then minced with onions and boiled in the animal’s stomach, the U.S. banned imported haggis in 1989 over concerns that it could carry mad cow disease.

5. Sassafras
Sassafras bark contains an oil called safrole which the FDA banned in 1960 because of its link to cancer in rats. Nowadays a safer product is produced that is free of safrole and still delivers the sassafras flavor.

4. Absinthe
The green liqueur popularized in France in the 1850’s was banned in the U.S. in 1912 for its “harmful neurological effects.” Currently, Absinthe can be legally imported at reduced thujone levels. Thujone is the psychoactive ingredient in absinthe.

3. Raw Milk Cheese
The FDA has banned the transport unpasteurized milk across state lines. Unpasteurized cheese can only be sold if it’s been chilled to 35F and aged for 60 days.

2. Puffer Fish
While “fugu” is a dish that is very popular in Japan and Korea, the eyes and internal organs of this fish are highly toxic. Chefs are specially trained to prepare fugu as not to poison the customers. The critters contain saxitoxin and tetrodotoxin, a nerve toxin for which there is no antidote. The dish can be found at top Japanese restaurants in several American cities however harvesting puffer fish is illegal in Florida.

1. Casu Marzu Maggot Cheese
This is a runny white cheese made by injecting Pecornio Sardo cheese with cheese-eating larvae. (Who thinks of this?) Eaters of the cheese risk intestinal larval infection and some other health hazards. The cheese cannot be sold legally in Italy although there are a few cities and towns where it can be found. The U.S. has no laws against this cheese, maybe because nobody here wants to eat it.

Eight Forbidden Delicacies [Newsweek]
(Photo: Newsweek)

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