Casu Marzu


An Italian sheeps milk cheese from Sardinia. It is known as "maggot cheese" because it is notorious for being full of maggots and the cheese is outlawed in the EU because of it. It can be found on the black market in Sardinia and the name itself means "rotten cheese".

Similar to Pecorino, this cheese goes past fermentation into a stage called decomposition caused by the digestive action of the cheese fly larvae. The larvae are incorporated into the cheese on purpose, to achieve this higher fermentation and to break down the cheeses' fat. The texture is soft and gooey. The larvae appear as small white worms. These worms can launch themselves up to 6 inches, so diners hold their hand above the sandwich on which the cheese is often served to prevent the worms from jumping into their eyes.

Those who consume this cheese sometimes remove larvae before eating, some don't. After the maggots die in the cheese, it is considered toxic. Thus it is only consumed with the maggots are found to be alive. Or soon after they have died. Consumers put the cheese in a brown paper bag, the worms become starved for oxygen and jump out of the cheese causing a pitter-patter sound inside the bag. When the sounds stop, the worms are all dead and outside of the cheese. It is not considered particularly safe to eat and can cause an intestinal larval infection. The larvae are resistant to human bile and can pass through the stomach alive and can lacerate other organs with their sharp mouthhooks.

It is paired with strong red wine. Traditionally, Sardinians believe this cheese to be an aphrodisiac.


Other names: Formaggio Marcio, Maggot Cheese, Casu Modde, Rotten Cheese, Casu Cundhídu
Translations: Času Marzu, カースマルツゥ, Casu Kovas, Цасу Марзу, Casu Tháng ba, Casu במרץ, Casu marzu, Casu marzu, Кас Marzu, 休闲T恤Marzu, Кас Marzu, Casu marzu

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