Cheese, please. Or on second thought...
May 26th, 2014
03:30 PM ET
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You can roll it, ferment it, dry it and put holes in it.

It can be stinky enough to be banned on public transport, crawling with maggots or hard enough to break your teeth.

Cheese is savored all around the world - even if some of it is an acquired taste.

Casu Marzu (Italy)
Like caviar, Casu Marzu is enjoyed only by a select population.

That's because it's served with live maggots.

It does have a fan base in Sardinia, where sheep farmers for centuries have made pecorino cheese and left it to rot and attract flies.

When the flies' eggs hatch the transformation takes place and the cheese becomes Casu Marzu.

It's then consumed with relish or perhaps trepidation - it has an aftertaste that lasts for hours.

Gordon Ramsay called it "the most dangerous cheese in the world."

Where to try it: Casu Marzu contains live insects so it can't be imported. Sardinia is therefore still the best option at associations such as Agugliastra in Lanusei, Sardinia.

Milbenkase (Germany)
Just when you thought the Italians took the proverbial cheese for their maggots, along come the Germans with their mite excrement variety.

Produced in Wurchwitz from quark, it sits among dust mites for several months, with some rye for them to nibble on.

The mites excrete an enzyme to ripen the cheese that turns it progressively yellow, red-brown and then black, at which point it's eaten, mites and all.

Bitter and zesty, the cheese is said to have curative effects for allergies to house dust.

If you'd like some cheese with your mites, there's a mite-shaped memorial in Würchwitz - in the hollow base there's some Milbenkase left for passersby to try.

Where to try it: Locally in Wurchwitz, Germany.

Read - Around the world in 11 odd cheeses

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Filed under: Cheese • Dishes • Hot Messes • Weird News


soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Vinnie

    Who wants ta try summa my fromunda cheese? Huh? Huh? HEYA!!!

    May 30, 2014 at 10:15 am |
  2. Thinking things through

    I love trying a myriad of different foods, but the cheese with live maggots is, amazingly enough (if you know me) totally off my viewfinder. Nope, not going there.

    May 29, 2014 at 10:15 pm |
  3. Berk Demirbulakli

    My toe cheese is a lot like Milbenkase, bitter and zesty.

    May 27, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
  4. Mark L

    Ugh, makes me yearn for Limburger

    May 27, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
  5. JellyBean

    I'll pass on that Casu Marzu and "settle" on American processed cheese.

    May 27, 2014 at 9:39 am |

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