Cheeses from Hell

Spinnenkäse - cheese made by spiders

Well, mites actually. The cheese mite (Tyroglyphus casei), to be precise. Quite the industrious little fellows, these cheese mites. The village of Würchwitz, Germany, even has this statue to honor them.
You see, Würchwitz is the home of Spinnenkäse, which is more accurately called Milbenkäse (mite cheese). They take a big wedge of Quark (kind of like cream cheese), add caraway and salt, then put it in a box infested with cheese mites. The mites work on the cheese - and by "work" I mean "excrete" and by "on the cheese" I mean, um... "on the cheese" - and in three months the rind turns a reddish brown. At this stage the cheese is ready for consumption, but more serious afficianados allow the mites to "work" for up to a year, at which point the rind turns black. The cheese is consumed along with the live mites in the rind. The flavor is said to be like a bitter Harzer.

Why didn't I think of that? Spiders and cheese are such an obvious combination...


Casu Marzu - cheese that requires eye protection...

If I'm ever in Sardinia, I want to try this stuff. Casu Marzu literally means "rotten cheese," but the locals call it "maggot cheese." Apparently, introducing the larvae of the cheese fly (Piophila casei) to an otherwise perfectly fine wheel of Pecorino creates, according to a Wall Street Journal reporter, "a viscous, pungent goo that burns the tongue and can affect other parts of the body". It's usually eaten on pane carasau, the local traditional flatbread. The catch is that the larvae are still alive - in fact, the lack of live larvae is held to indicate that the rotting process has gone too far and the cheese is no longer safe [sic] to eat. These larvae are energetic little maggots, and they are reported to be able to jump up to six inches - hence the need for eye protection.

Makes dryer cheese sound wholesome and delicious....

6 comments:

Flynn said...

That's just... eww. That's the scariest cheese product I've ever seen, unless you count Waiting's "Fromunder Cheese"...

I'll try it. Once.

Big Gay Jim said...

No, it doesn't make dryer cheese sound wholesome. It just makes you realize there are, in fact, cheeses even more disgusting.

G-Fresh said...

Um...really Gross

Mayren said...

Thank you my dear Linus for that frigtful Shock-Jock moment.
I often find that since Mist1 is not around lately that the best way to diet is to read the gross posts of His Sinfulness.

My appetite is gone for a week.
Thanks to you i'll be getting back into my fave jeans for the holiday season.

WNG said...

Thanks for helping out with my diet. Don't think I'll be eating lunch now.

His Sinfulness said...

Appetite suppression - yet another service we provide. :)

Be glad that I limited myself to cheeses - the other "delicacies" I found while researching these were far worse...

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