Friday, September 19, 2008

Threat Level Orange

We are in Grand Junction at the Colorado Wine Festival, enjoying a weekend of sloth and gluttony (lovely wine, lovely food, chocolate, you name it!) and went out to dinner tonight at The Winery Restaurant downtown, which was recommended by my in-laws, who were out in Grand Junction two weeks ago.

Neat place, in a 100 year old firehouse, good food. We were not familiar with the fish that was offered as the special for the night - escolar. We asked what it was and the waiter told us it was a mild white fish, "much like tuna". Huh? Tuna is anything but a light white fish, so The Adorable Husband pulled out the handy-dandy interwebs on his iPhone and looked it up.

This fish should really be called Horrible Orange Explodey Butt fish. Seriously. It's banned in Japan and wikipedia has the following to say about eating it:

Like its relative the oilfish (Ruvettus pretiosus), it cannot metabolize the wax esters (Gempylotoxin) naturally found in its diet, which accumulates to give an oil content in the muscle meat of 18–21%. These wax esters may rapidly cause gastrointestinal symptoms following consumption; however, these effects are usually short lived.

The gastrointestinal symptoms, called "keriorrhoea", caused by these wax esters may include oily orange diarrhea, discharge, or leakage from the rectum that may smell of mineral oil. The discharge can stain clothing and occur without warning 30 minutes to 36 hours after consuming the fish. The oil may pool in the rectum and cause frequent urges for bowel movements due to its lubricant qualities and may be accidentally discharged by the passing of gas. Symptoms may occur over a period of one or more days. Other symptoms may include stomach cramps, loose bowel movements, diarrhea, headaches, nausea, and vomiting.

Oh, fun! That sounds like something I'd like to eat, yummy! It should come with a warning. A bright orange warning sticker or something.

To be fair, of course, the solution is strict portion control and cooking by grilling or some other method to reduce the oil, which is how this was offered. We kept looking over at the table sitting next to us and wondering if we should share our Wikipedia knowledge with them as they considered the special.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I suppose that you will run to the nearest exit the next time we recommend a restaurant... :-)