You must love it: putting live animals in your mouth. These seven animals are eaten without being killed and fried. In case it can’t be raw enough for you, so to speak.
In the Netherlands we are used to the idea of eating raw oysters. What the Dutch often do not know is that the animals are usually still alive. Cutting the oysters free from their shells doesn’t kill them right away. The oyster often dies in your stomach.
- Yin Yang (fish)
This Asian fish dish has a harmonious name, but the fish eaten awaits a painful fate. The animal is kept alive up to its head in the boiling oil. The head itself remains intact and the fish is still alive when it is sprinkled with sauce on the plate. The mouth must still move or the cook will be disqualified, the site of a Yin Yang fish cooking competition states. This way of eating fish originates from Taiwan, where the dish has now been banned. Not in China, some love it there.
- Ikizukuri (fish)
Fresher is better, they say in Japan. Sashimi is fresh raw fish, ikizukuri is a variant where the fish is still alive while being eaten. The customer chooses a fish from a tank. The cook slices the animal up to the head, but leaves the vital organs intact. The heart continues to beat and the sliced meat is draped on and around the live fish. Sometimes the animal is even put back in a bowl of water to regain strength before it serves as a living decoration.
- Sannakji (octopus)
In Korea they chop up small octopuses. Top with sesame seeds and sesame oil and voila! Enjoy your dinner. The legs continue to move for a while, although they are in fact no longer alive. But live octopuses are also wrapped in their entirety around chopsticks and thrashed inside. They cling to chopsticks, tongue and throat. Every now and then someone chokes.
- Casu marzu (maggots)
It squirms, it stinks and it tastes delicious, they say in Sardinia: Casu marzu. In other words, sheep’s cheese with live maggots in it. The Italians let cheese flies lay eggs in cheese and wait for maggots to hatch. Then the cheese is left to rot. The maggots eat the cheese from the inside and defecate in it until the cheese liquefies and begins to seep out of the rind. You must eat the cheese while the maggots are still alive. Some people like to wear glasses, because the critters can jump up to six inches high if disturbed.