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What Exactly Is In Your Cheese?

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Psychologists say that, there has been an explosion of this emotion on most people which is disgust. Disgust is one of the six (6) basic emotions of people along with joy, surprise, anger, sadness and fear. But disgust is the only one that can be learned…regardless, most people have “learned” to be disgusted by maggots, and we certainly don’t want them in food…right?

Most people, especially children, get their first lessons in disgust around the time that they were already trained and can understand the real meaning of life. Afterwards, this will trigger them to quickly acquire disgust responses, especially coming from their peers and their surrounding culture. One of the best places to look for vast differences in considering disgust is in food especially in more distinctive types of foods and exotic culture.

Take cheese as an example; this food is considered by many as one of the most comforting food to eat because of its luxurious delicacy by most Westerners. Comforting, right?  As in…it makes you feel good.  What if we told you that some types of cheeses are made by the use of….maggots?  It’s true, and some cultures even consider it a delicacy.

Casu Marzu – The World’s Most Dangerous Cheese

Casu Marzu is one of the best examples of this maggot in cheese type of food, as you will see visible worms crawling on cheese to ferment and change into a more “delicious” type of cheese. It is a sheep cheese that is popular in countries like Italy. It is also known as a rotten cheese and colloquially named as “maggot cheese” because of the maggots served on the cheese ready to eat. Literally.

The key in making this kind of food, which is maggots in cheese, is through managing the decomposition in such a way to get the desired flavor and to ensure that we don’t get sick from consuming food despite of the maggots presence.  Sounds like a challenge.  It is: Chefs and food servers of this food have the gruesome responsibility to ensure that the maggots in cheese that they put there are 100% clean and edible…or as “clean” and “edible” as maggots can be.

Directions to Make Maggot Cheese

To make a maggot cheese, you shall start with a slab of local sheep cheese known as pecorino sardo and let it be in a normal fermentation. Let it in a stage wherein you will consider it infested and under decomposition. The larvae of the cheese are added to the cheese coming from their digestive system and breaks down on the fat elements of the cheese. After it, then you now have your maggot cheese.

Other studies state that it is unsafe to eat maggot cheese. Who knows–but this is yet another reason to avoid dairy.  Nutritionists are slowly learning more and more about the health detriments of dairy (eg phosphorus overload preventing calcium absorption from milk, common allergic reactions to chemicals such as lactose, pus in milk, etc.) and for me, this was a nail in the coffin!

Jade writes for the blog Fresher Than Life, a no-nonsense approach to natural health and a plant-based diet.

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