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grungy-gonads

Casu Marzu - Italian Maggot Cheese

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I'm sure almost everyone avidly reads Cheeseman's Cheese of the Week thread but for those who don't, you can't miss this one.

 

Maggot Cheese. Watch the maggots don't jump into your eyes when you eat it!

 

If you can stomach it, check it out

 

http://www.snowjapanforums.com/ubbthread...html#Post311032

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Well Rob, I'd like to. With an upper limit of US$100 I'd sponsor your adventure.

 

I don't know where or how you can get that stuff, but please give video with sound when you do find it.

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A recap

 

Casu Marzu

 

(or, er, Italian Maggot Cheese!)

 

Casu marzu (also called casu modde, casu cundhídu, or in Italian formaggio marcio) is a traditional Sardinian sheep milk cheese, notable for being riddled with live insect larvae. Although outlawed there for health reasons, it is found mainly in Sardinia, Italy on the black market. Casu marzu literally means "rotten cheese" in Sardinian and is known colloquially as maggot cheese.

 

Derived from Pecorino, Casu marzu goes beyond typical fermentation to a stage most would consider decomposition, brought about by the digestive action of the larvae of the cheese fly Piophila casei. These larvae are deliberately introduced to the cheese, promoting an advanced level of fermentation and breaking down of the cheese's fats. The texture of the cheese becomes very soft, with some liquid (called lagrima, from the Sardinian for "tears") seeping out. The larvae themselves appear as translucent white worms, about 8 millimetres (0.3 in) long. When disturbed, the larvae can launch themselves for distances up to 15 centimetres (6 in). Some people clear the larvae from the cheese before consuming; others do not.

 

Casu marzu is considered toxic when the maggots in the cheese have died. Because of this, only cheese in which the maggots are still alive is eaten. When the cheese has fermented enough, it is cut into thin strips and spread on moistened Sardinian flatbread (pane carasau), to be served with a strong red wine. Casu marzu is believed to be an aphrodisiac by local Sardinians. Because the larvae in the cheese can launch themselves for distances up to 15 centimetres (6 in) when disturbed, diners hold their hands above the sandwich to prevent the maggots from leaping into their eyes. Those who do not wish to eat live maggots place the cheese in a sealed paper bag. The maggots, starved for oxygen, writhe and jump in the bag, creating a "pitter-patter" sound. When the sounds subside, the maggots are dead and the cheese can be eaten.

 

Several food safety issues have been raised in relation to Casu marzu, including anecdotal reports of allergic reactions and the danger of consuming cheese that has advanced to a toxic state. In addition, there is some risk of enteric myaisis, or intestinal larval infection. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and bloody diarrhea. Piophila casei larvae are very resistant to human stomach acid and can pass through the stomach alive, taking up residency for some period of time in the intestines and causing stomach lesions and other gastrointestinal problems. The larvae have powerful mouthhooks which can lacerate stomach linings or intestinal walls as the maggots attempt to bore through internal organs.

 

casu-marzu-300x300.jpg

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