Why is there such an emphasis on fear in a lot of dining? The television show Fear Factor regularly challenged the contestants with things like pidan and deer penises, but not really the Russian Roulette risks of casu marzu or amateur fugu cooking. Hell, there's more risk in eating shisito peppers, which have the occasional spicy specimen looking identical to the milder brethren.
|Westernized balut eating at Moneycat Brunch. Prepended by a beer.|
But I think what people consider "fear" is really tapping into the primal expression of disgust. Disgust, as a primal emotion, taps into the reptile brain, and that instinctive drive for evolutionary survival. Indeed, many of the things that disgust us - feces, decay, death - are linked to things that are likely to sicken a consumer. And its a insidious genius of marketing that can link keywords tapping into emotional disgust - slime, for example - to subvert logical discussion with emotional response.