This is so funny – an illegal cheese! when is a cheese illegal? Not when it’s committed a felony but when it contains live insect larvae! OK so all cheese is made by fermentation but this goes beyond that and begins to decompose!
Casu Marzu is a traditional Sardinian cheese made with sheep’s milk which has deliberately had cheese fly lay eggs in it so that the larvae speed up the fermentation process. So the cheese fats decompose and start to ooze out like pus while the larvae appear as see-through small worms which can catapult themselves about 15cm out of the cheese when disturbed. Now it is possible to eat the stuff with the maggots if you are a real aficionado (or sadist) but it is also acceptable to scrap the maggots off before eating the rotten cheese or put them in a bag and wait until the maggots suffocate and hopelessly fling themselves against the inside of the bag. Otherwise be sure to shield your eyes from flying maggots when eating. Also once the maggots are dead the cheese really does become poisonous.
The criminal cheese was outlawed for contravening EU health laws but it’s sentence was stayed as it was declared officially a “traditional” food of Sardinia.
You can try some maggot cheese in Sardinia from Spring to late Autumn, try the most rustic or traditional restaurants or in one of the specialty cheese stores.