Casu Marzu

Perhaps the most unpalatable cheese in the world is the Sardinian "variety", Casu Marzu ("rotten cheese", also known as casu modde, casu cundhídu, or formaggio marcio), an Italian ewes' milk cheese but one which is riddled with live insect larvae. After manufacture, the cheese fly (Piophila casei; see below) is encouraged to lay its eggs on the cheese and the insect larvae cause dramatic changes to the cheese flavour (or so say those foolhardy enough to taste it!) and texture. This cheese is available only on the black market as it has been outlawed for obvious food safety reasons, not least of which is enteric myiasis caused my living larvae in the intestines! Certainly one cheese to be avoided... For those with strong stomachs, an interesting video clip about Casu Marzu is availble on YouTube.