Casu Marzu, the Sardinian Maggot Cheese
Casu marzu, also known as Sardinian maggot cheese, is a traditional Italian cheese that is intentionally infested with live insect larvae. The larvae are introduced into the cheese as it ages, and they feed on the cheese, creating a fermentation process that gives the cheese a soft, creamy texture and a distinct pungent flavor. Casu marzu is often described as an acquired taste, with a strong, tangy flavor and a texture that can be quite liquidy due to the presence of the larvae. The cheese is typically consumed by spreading it on bread or crackers, but care must be taken to remove any live larvae before eating, as they can jump up to several inches in the air and can pose a choking hazard. Although casu marzu is banned in multiple European countries, it remains a beloved cheese.