Cheese covered with live insect larvae sounds pretty disgusting, right? Well, to some it’s a delicacy called Casu Marzu and they are consuming it since 100 of years.
Casu Marzu is an illegal cheese found in Sardinia, Italy. It is often called the world’s most dangerous cheese made from sheep’s milk and infested with live maggots. The European Union banned this cheese, however it is still available in the black market and one can buy it by paying extra bucks.
Making of Casu Marzu takes couple of months and it starts with making traditional pecorino cheese made by heating sheep’s milk and letting it settle for three weeks. When pecorino get ready then the crust is cut off so that fly can lay their egg in it. After that this cheese left in dark place for two to three months so the fly eggs can change into larvae. The larvae consume rotting cheese and the excretions of larvae give the cheese a distinct texture and flavor. The taste of Casu Marzu is said to be like ripe gorgonzola. But in reality it is larvae excrement on the rotting cheese.
The cheese is often eaten when the maggots are still alive if they are dead then it is sign that Casu Marzu has gone bad. While eating this delicacy people need to take care of their eyes because alive maggots can jump to great heights when disturbed. People enjoy this cheese usually with a glass of strong red wine and moistened flat bread. When consuming the cheese it is important the maggots must be killed and chewed before swallowing because maggots can live in your body and can damage your intestines.
In Sardinian culture Casu Marzu has special recognition for generations and is believed to be a love potion, often consumed at celebratory gatherings and weddings.