‘Casu Marzu’ translates as ‘rotten, putrid cheese’. Forget Stilton and the like, this takes things to another level. Traditional in Sardinia, this is a cheese made from sheep’s milk. So far so good. But it’s the squirming maggots that make this cheese so unique that also make Casu Marzu such an unpleasant prospect.
It is indeed packed with live insect larvae which can disgust the most ardent cheese lover. Feeling unsettled? Look away now as you probably won’t be able to stomach it.
Casu Marzu is a cheese that has been taken beyond fermentation to a state of decomposition. The flavour is strong, the smell pungent and the texture so soft that it’s almost a liquid. The crawling maggots are too much for most to bear. But for Casu Marzu fans, this is the best bit, so much so that they’ll refuse to eat it if the larvae have passed. Eaten with Sicilian flat bread and local red wine, there’s no question that this is authentic. But for most, Casu Marzu is a step too far.