Maybe I’ve just had too much time to think about it during #FoodieFriday today, but when you get right down to it, cheese is disgusting. Sure it tastes delicious and makes the day a little brighter for those of us not cursed with lactose intolerance, but c’mon — it’s old milk, people! And blue cheese? Mold! As grotesque as that sounds to me (at this moment) and to vegans (on a daily basis), that’s just the cheese that people eat regularly. If you’re ready to be turned off from dairy forever by some of the strangest cheeses in the world, please keep reading.
This is mimolette, a spherical cheese from Normandy that bears an uncanny resemblance to a cantaloupe. As if that wasn’t odd enough, it develops its melon-like rind with the help of tiny bugs called cheese mites. That’s right — little bugs live on the outside of the mimolette ball, and as it ages they shed their skin and defecate all over the place until their excrement has formed a crunchy shell around the deep-orange cheese. A similar cheese called milbenkäse is produced in Germany, but it looks decidedly more turd-like. Delish!
Did that make anyone else queasy? Just wait. If you ever find yourself in the mood for some schmear while vacationing on the Italian island of Sardinia, you’ll be wishing you had a slice of mite cheese instead of their local dairy delicacy called casu marzu. Like mimolette, casu marzu is a giant ball of cheese, but unlike the French variety, the bugs are on the inside of the sphere. Maggots writhe around the innards of the casu marzu, decomposing the cheese and making it spreadably soft. Maggots, ladies and gentlemen. Maggots that can jump in your eyes while you’re eating. Seeing as I almost lost my lunch all over my desktop, I’ll let celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey take it from here:
[youtube id=”vZ_-JzM-YQg” width=”600″ height=”350″]
Will I eat cheese again? Absolutely. It’s just so damn good that I can look past the fact that I’m consuming something that, in essence, is rotten. However, I will definitely be sure to inspect my fromage the next time I’m in Normandy, and I’ll only eat at McDonald’s if I ever make it to Sardinia.