Korean Hagfish Thought To Natural Viagra

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From The Associated Press
By Noaki Schwartz

LOS ANGELES — The hagfish is a bottom feeder so repulsive it had a cameo on TV's "Fear Factor." It slimes its enemies, has rows of teeth on its tongue, and feeds on the innards of rotting fish by penetrating any orifice.

But cooked and served on a plate, it is considered an aphrodisiac in South Korea.

And the overseas appetite for the hagfish — also known as the slime eel — is creating a business opportunity for struggling West Coast fishermen confronted with tough restrictions on the catching of salmon and other fish.

California's annual catch jumped from practically nothing to 150,000 pounds over the past four years. Oregon and Washington state last year reported around 1 million pounds of hagfish caught. There is also a small, seasonal fishery and processing operation in eastern Maine.

The 14- to 18-inch hagfish looks like an eel. In fact, there is debate over whether it is really a fish. The 300-million-year-old creature has no jaws and one nostril. Essentially blind, it dwells in the dark more than 1,000 feet down.

Tango’s Take
This is the fourth developing world aphrodisiac that we’ve mentioned in the Dish (other include Peruvian frog juice, a Chilean herb and a Malaysian Herb). The hagfish (in addition to being one of nature’s most beautifully named creatures) evidently has rejuvenating powers. Why does everyone turn to gross foods for help with erections? The hagfish is typically boiled in sesame oil, seasoned with salt and accompanied with a shot of liquor. The Korean liquor in question is probably soju. And after a few shots of that libation, most dudes are probably ready to bust into any massage parlor/ karaoke house and have at it. We mentioned a few days ago that a wedding in South Korea was emceed by a robot. We wonder what if that wedding ended with a steaming plate of hagfish for the groom.

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