Food: freestyle experiences

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So cheesy! February 25, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — thalounette @ 5:11 pm

Recently, I noticed that Deborah hated cheese, but David seems to love it! When I was a little girl, I could not see or smell cheese, all sorts of cheese… Nevertheless, when I grew up, I became more and more attracted by it, and I can say I definitely love it – except for Roquefort – and I believe I have eaten thousands of different cheeses.

However, does someone know about Casu Marzu? The cheese? The famous and traditional Sardinian sheep milk cheese, notable for being riddled with live insect larvae? 😀

You did not? Me neither! 😀 Let’s have a look…

Casu Marzu, also colloquially known as Maggot Cheese… Yes, you have read what I have written right: Maggot Cheese. This ‘delicacy’ is a runny white cheese made by injecting Pecorino Sardo cheese with cheese-eating larvae. It is mainly found in Sardinia, Italy, and it literally means ‘rotten cheese’ in Sardinian. Casu Marzu is not your average cheese lover’s cheese. Then, if that is not to scare you away, how about a few thousand wriggling maggots?

Casu Marzu begins as Pecorino Sardo, a cheese that is typically soaked in brine, smoked, and left to ripen in the cheese cellars of central Sardinia. But to produce Casu Marzu, cheese makers set the Pecorino Sardo outside in the open, uncovered, and allow cheese flies (scientifically named Piophila casei – the cheese fly) to lay eggs inside of it.

As the eggs hatch into white transparent maggots, they feed on the cheese. By doing so, they produce enzymes that promote fermentation and cause fats within the Casu Marzu to decompose. Sometimes, cuts are even made into the rind of Pecorino Sardo and already-hatched maggots are introduced into the cheese. This way, it speeds the whole cheese making process. Thus, Casu Marzu is created by the gastric juices of the thousands of maggots that infest it…

Some people say Casu Marzu tastes like an extremely ripe Gorgonzola, without the blue veins and with a whole lot of larvae of course! 😀 One piece of Casu Marzu may be populated by thousands of living, breathing maggots.

Italian people really love this cheese and champion its cause when this delicacy is criticized. Anyway, we should not forget that the cheese can pose various health hazards, such as an intestinal larval infection for instance.

It is best for you not to think about that while you are chomping through your Gouda or Cheddar, dear reader 😀

If you want to know more about this particular cheese or even just to know where you could find some because it has stimulated your appetite, I refer you to Wikipedia or this really interesting video, starring a great chef, Gordon Ramsay!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ_-JzM-YQg

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20 Responses to “So cheesy!”

  1. deb1708 Says:

    omg,what can I say about this post.
    the picture does not attract me…
    cheesy world…

  2. thalounette Says:

    I guess it will not help you like cheese Deb 😀
    Did you watch the video on Youtube?

  3. deb1708 Says:

    I just watched it. That is disgusting. How can you eat maggots in cheese!!!!!!
    yuck

    • thalounette Says:

      You are a difficult girl Deb! You don’t like cheese, I find you a peculiar cheese with little surprises in it and you are still not happy 😀

      • deb1708 Says:

        I am not fond of cheesse so that does not mean I am difficult. There are loads of things better than cheese.

  4. Brian Says:

    gniiiiiiiiiii Thalie, gniiiiiiiiii. You know how i react when I smell and see comté so imagine how I felt when I saw your post. So I guess this is the end of nice posts and a come back to weird things. I really gonna miss those green cookies, and one thing for sure is that I will neeeeeeeeeeeever taste that thing you call cheese.

  5. thalounette Says:

    And did you watch the video Brian? It explains how this cheese is made.
    You are as difficult as Deb! And always complaining about what your mum cooks, except when it is pizza (and this is frozen food)!
    Anyway, I forgive you… And don’t worry, the next articles I will write are about nice and ‘pretty’ things 🙂
    Besides, this is not a blog about awful things people create and/or eat but about peculiar and interesting things related to food.
    You will like the artcle I will put on the blog today, I promise!

    • Brian Says:

      In my defense I have to point out that this pizza is just AWESOME!!! And I like cheese but only when it is melted with something else (pizza, hot dogs, croque monsieur – english translation please?? – and other stuffs).
      I can’t wait to see what your next post will be about 😀
      And no I couldn’t watch the video my internet connexion is too slow, it would take an hour to load it. I’ll watch it later on a computer with a real connexion. Should I avoid to eat before I do this?

      • thalounette Says:

        Pizzas are awesome! Dominos pizzas are heaven 😀 You know me!
        You can say toasted ham and cheese sandwich but also ‘croque-monsieur’ (don’t forget the hyphen between the two words!)
        Here comes the next article!

  6. thalounette Says:

    By the way, I saw those Jackass guys on TV two weeks ago and they had to swallow slaver directly from the mouth of a camel (alive, real camel, you see the picture…)… And this is something that really made me want to vomit…

  7. thalounette Says:

    I was joking Deb 🙂 And I agree, there is so many things/dishes better than cheese! Once again, when I think and try to decide if I have a favourite dish, I cannot choose ONE thing… Did I tell you I love food? 😀

  8. agathe02 Says:

    it looks very tasty…although i’m a great fan of all cheeses, I let the tasting of such a cheese to those who have a stronger stomach and heart than me!

  9. thalounette Says:

    And who are not afraid to get sick! At one point in the video, there is a close-up on a man, and we see hat he is eating this cheese: I felt ill at ease in a way.

  10. kev1 Says:

    :$ gniiiiiii…
    I have to agree with Brian (that really hurt), smelling most cheeses is already awful enough to stop me from trying them, but this thing here, you’d actually have to give me loads of money to try it!
    I’d heard about this kind of cheese before but i had never actually seen it – which now that I have, I can say was a good thing!
    Fortunately, since my computer still won’t work normally, I haven’t been able to watch the video on youtube though :p

  11. thalounette Says:

    I have no money to give you Kevin, you would not like to try this cheese just as a challenge? if you want, I can pinch your nose with a clothespin, you will not smell it and it can be easier 😀
    Ohhhh what a pity! You did not watch the video! Because this gives you all the information you need to create your own maggot cheese in a way :p

  12. Brian Says:

    I’m ready to pay you!!! Please do it in front of me Kevin I want to see you with that thing (I can’t call it cheese sorry) in your mouth. I still remember the time you made me eat Reblochon when we were at Morzine with Yann. It’s your turn to suffer now 😀

  13. thalounette Says:

    You are awful Brian!
    Before trying Casu Marzu, we should find some! I do not know where we can find that kind of cheese in France… Not even sure it is sold 😀


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