The Most Dangerous Cheese In The World?

Very few tastes persist as potently as a mouthful of Casu Marzu. An acquired taste to be sure. Something is wiggling around inside, responsible for this taste that many Sardinians and a few curious travelers love.

Is this the most dangerous cheese in the world?

This Cheese Is Prepared By Maggots

I’m unsure of many things more viscerally disgusting than the existence of maggots. Human evolution has for thousands of years associated these wriggling creatures with diseases, infection, and decaying corpses. When we see maggots in food, we are naturally disgusted. Incredibly, in Sardinia, people used to risk hefty fines to get hold of a maggot-infested delicacy cheese, casu marzu.

A True Sardinian Delicacy

If you placed this cheese in front of most Sardinians, there would go mad for it, for many, it’s difficult to stop once they get a taste. Its enjoyed by children and the elderly across the island, going by different local names depending on the region. Previously, the cheese was an accident, made possible when a fly decides to borough into a mature Pecorino (sheep cheese). But today, it’s made more purposefully. Larvae toil tirelessly at the heart of the cheese to turn it into a creamy, complex and sort-after delicacy. Children in Sardinia explained that the worms are born into the casu marzu, enjoying to eat the inside, meaning they are practically made up of cheese. Which I guess is true although a little misleading. Allowing children to eat cheese and suppress instincts.

Casu marzu has been passed down for generations, enjoyed by the shepherds of the past and Sardinians today. Methods have changed, to lead the flys into the cheese intentionally. Some makers even add small amounts of milk or extra virgin olive oil to the center to stimulate the process.

Jason Matthew Warland

Sardinia is a place beyond time. I visited the island for the first time over five years ago to volunteer on a farm. Now, I am living in the United Kingdom, working in regenerative agriculture ( but every time I have a holiday it will be in Sardinia. And maybe one day I will be able to combine my passions for agriculture and Sardinia together once again. Thanks for reading the article I hope it was useful to you.

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