Everyone loves cheese to a certain degree. Though some may say cheese is terrible for you.
Depending on the type of cheese, you could be getting a very fatty block of dairy and cholesterol or a thin and nutty flavored dry brick.
Cheese helped advance human culture by providing long-term rations of nearly imperishable foods, and it all came from the unlikeliest places.
The earliest civilizations learned how to make cheese seemingly by accident. Who knew letting milk rot a certain way would make it last longer?
Rotting is the way that ancient man created cheese. Now we use more refined processes, but the old ways are still best for some.
Casu Marzu is a cheese made in the traditions of the old world that doesn’t see eye to eye with modern safety and health conventions.
It means “rotten” or “putrid cheese” because of the process that creates it: a careful, controlled, and active phase of rot and decay.
But instead of growing mold or fuzzy white spots like some cheese, this cheese is refined in the most natural way possible: Maggots.
10 /10 Pecorino Revolting
The cheese is made from sheep milk, which then becomes pecorino, a complex type of cheese.
This is a typical cheese you can buy anywhere with a slightly salty taste, primarily used in traditional pasta carbonara as the base of the sauce.
This is usually made by taking a vat of sheep’s milk and lamb rennet – a cocktail of enzymes from the stomachs of lamb and other animals.
The milk hardens and slowly becomes cheese when combined and set to age in a dry environment. Casu Marzu goes a bit too far.
9 /10 Fly On The Wall
Casu Marzu starts with aged pecorino, with most of the work done to make a decent, edible cheese. However, casu marzu is a soft cheese – almost like a cream or a sauce.
It becomes this way by introducing a different ripening agent: flies. Makers raise the larvae of a cheese fly – flies that got their name specifically because they like to lay their eggs in cheese.
The larvae then eat and digest the cheese, which breaks down the fats and solids, and separates them, providing solids for growth and turning the fats into a creamy paste. For eating.