I found on the Wikipedia article for porgies, there is a quote from a reference saying that:

  1. Johnson, G.D. & Gill, A.C. (1998). Paxton, J.R. & Eschmeyer, W.N.. ed. Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 184. ISBN 0-12-547665-5. Eating the head is known to cause hallucinations, lasting many days.

I was wondering if their heads contains some poison or other bad things, and thereforeare not eatable and must be removed before cooking?

All fishes are caught in Maryland.

  • This is really three distinct questions. Please break it up. Thanks.
    – yossarian
    Commented Oct 30, 2011 at 12:46
  • I would simply remove it to be on the safe side. Anyways, this sounds as if it could be dangerous to test, so do you think you should take the word (i.e. answer) from some random person for it?
    – bitmask
    Commented Jan 2, 2012 at 19:07

1 Answer 1


There are better references in Wikipedia, to be sure.

Apparently, the Romans ate the Sarpa Salpa, a type of bream, for it's hallucinatory effects. These hallucinations are caused by a toxin called ichthyoallyeinotoxism, present in the plankton and algae the fish eats.

It's best to avoid these toxins as the hallucinations are said not to be pleasant.

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