Casu Marzu | The Incredible and Dangerous Cheese with Worms

Are you a fan of cheese in all its forms and flavors? Even in your case, it is likely that the variety that we will present today in Supercurious it produces more disgust than temptation. We will immerse ourselves in the shocking world of one of the most incredible foods in the world: the Casu Marzu . It's about a cheese with Italian worms from the region of Sardinia that is literally rotten . You do not believe it? Read everything we tell you below and know it.

Casu Marzu: the Italian delight of cheese with worms

1. What is the Casu Marzu

cheese with worms, casu marzu

Casu Marzu could be translated as "rotten cheese" and its name comes from a dialect of Sardinian, the spoken language in the autonomous region of Sardinia. Specifically, it is a sheep cheese from the island of Sardinia (in Italy) that has a clear peculiarity: during its fermentation stage it is frequented by flies that lay their eggs and hatch in the form of larvae . Thus, when the cheese is opened for consumption, the image is frightening, since hundreds of worms of about nine millimeters are moving inside.

These worms they grow, feed and defecate inside the cheese and that is precisely what gives it that "special" flavor which makes it valued as a delicacy in Sardinia. The fact that these worms feed on cheese makes them generate enzymes that help fermentation and break down fatty acids. In fact, although this process may have originally occurred naturally, currently the larvae are purposely introduced by those who make this impressive variety of cheese by hand.

2. What does the Casu Marzu know?

Its high level of acidity makes this cheese with worms is very strong, so much that even itches when it comes into contact with the palate . They say he remembers a Gorgonzola but much more mature. Larvae can also be eaten with cheese (provided they are alive), although there are also people who decide to remove them. If the worms are dead inside, it is considered that the cheese is bad and is not suitable for consumption.

In this sense, you will be interested to know that If someday you want to try the Casu Marzu also consuming its larvae, you must cover your eyes! These small creatures, despite their diminutive size, can jump up to 15 centimeters high.

If instead you prefer to try this cheese with worms without them, there is a very curious method. Place the cheese in a tightly closed paper bag. The larvae will at some point begin to run out of oxygen and jump into the bag . When this happens, a drumming is often heard inside the container. Once this sound stops being heard, then the cheese is removed from the bag, without larvae and it is ready to be consumed.

3. Can Casu Marzu be bought in Europe?

As expected, the sale of this cheese is prohibited in the European Union and in fact its sale by the Italian sanitary authorities is also prohibited, in spite of not being vetted its homemade manufacture. The Casu Marzu is considered a dangerous cheese, and is that there are few health problems that can cause.

Among these side effects of the named cheese with worms is found the possibility of suffering a complete indigestion , including vomiting, diarrhea or severe stomach pains. Another possible problem is that your digestive system is not able to completely dissolve the worms that you are eating. If at least one of them is able to reach the intestine alive, it is very possible to stay there and start parasitizing, since they also eat meat.

As if all this were not enough, remember that as we pointed out earlier these small worms are able to jump up to 15 centimeters, so if when you're taking a little bit of this cheese to your mouth one of the worms jumps into your eye and you do not you realize, can stay under your eyelids . Spooky!

4. Are there other cheeses with worms, similar to Casu Marzu?

Although in other regions of Italy there are variants of the Casu Marzu, this is not the only country that has a cheese in whose fermentation strange creatures participate. France and Germany also have their own "casu marzu".

  • Milbenkäse (Germany)

casu marzu, cheese with worms, Milkenbase

The Milbenkäse, "mite cheese" (as an approximate translation), is created by adding caraway and salt and drying quark cheese balls. Once dry, put in a wooden box containing rye flour and cheese mites. In this container will spend about 3 months. The idea is that the mites of the cheese excrete an envelope, contained in their digestive juices, which makes the cheese mature . Of course, once the process is finished, these creatures are consumed together with such curious food.

This type of cheese is not illegal in Germany, since there is a kind of legal vacuum in your case, but it does it is necessary to have local permits and that the product is analyzed and considered edible.

  • Mimolette (France)

casu marzu, cheese with worms, mimolette

It is a cheese that weighs around 2 kilos and that bears a strong resemblance to Edam cheese. What makes it on this list is its grayish crust and that is, as in the previous case, is the product of adding mites of cheese to the surface of the cheese or.

As for its flavor, when it's a young mimolette it tastes like Parmesan cheese . If it is more "old", its texture becomes harder and more difficult to chew and takes on a hazelnut flavor.

Casu Marzu cheese with worms also on video

In addition to Casu Marzu or cheese with worms, do not miss ...

If after having read this article about the Casu Marzu and having seen its corresponding video about the cheese with worms, you want to discover other foods just as curious, we invite you to take a look at our entry about Liquors with animal surprise inside .

And, now yes: we end our presentation of the cheese with worms called Casu Marzu and we encourage you to leave us your impressions in a comment. Would you dare to try this Italian delicacy? Have you had the opportunity to do so and want to share your experience with us? We will read you with much interest.

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