Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Cheese To End All Cheese?

I love cheese, many of you love cheese, so it just seemed that writing about this next cheese was something I had to do after learning of its existence. And I will admit that it’s a much better topic than the other one I was toying with: Starbucks’ new nudie mermaid logo. They get enough publicity. But Casu Marzu on the other hand, does not. If you had asked me about Casu Marzu, I would have told you it was the fancy name of the mansion overlooking Corona or that it was possibly the name of that weird sounding band from the 80s. Oh wait, that might actually be Spandau Ballet, and I have no idea what the heck that means. I understand ballet, but is Spandau just a fancy way of saying Spandex? Because a spandex ballet might be kind of funny to watch. Perhaps a little chaffy for the performers, but that’s what they get for wearing non-breathable spandex during a dance performance!

It seems I have drifted of course, again. This post was supposed to be all cheesy. Sorry, I couldn’t resist that. It’s the same temptation I gave into yesterday when Bristol and Chloe were playing with their magnetic letters and there was a little issue with Chloe needing 2 ‘p’s. For those of you keeping score at home, that would also be ‘pp’ and it led to me spending most of the afternoon saying things like ‘Bristol, give your sister your PP’ and ‘Bristol, Chloe wants your PP.’ I realize it’s not very grown up, but then either am I. It is a little unsettling when you realize that your 6-year-old daughters are slightly above that type of humor however…

OK, back to the cheese. By the way, I swear back to the cheese will the title of a screenplay I write before I die, most likely from clogged arteries. At this time, I would like to introduce you to a little something called Casu Marzu. I guess I actually introduced you to it in the first paragraph, but I didn’t introduce it correctly. I am horrible at introductions and often mess them up. Now days I just try to stand in between the two people I should be introducing and just hope they take it upon themselves to introduce each other in an effort to break the awkward silence. I come out looking like an idiot, but they get to meet each other and I usually discover I had been calling at least one of them by the wrong last name. It works out quite beautifully. 

Casu Marzu is cheese. Unofficially, it is referred to as maggot cheese. MMMMM, doesn’t that sound scrumpulicious? I need to mention that it’s not one of those cute or clever names that has nothing to do with the title because horribly enough, this cheese has a lot to do with maggots. I may have just lost many of you with a double maggot reference (triple if you choose to count that last one there) and I will warn you that many of you may not want to continue. If that is the case, have a great day and I will see you tomorrow with something much less gastronomically offensive.

This cheese will test how loyal of a cheese-ist you really are. It will make you question how serious you are to your cheese commitment and how far you will go to prove your allegiance to one of life’s most delicious things to come from a cow’s udder. It is a somewhat altered or embellished cheese, if you will. As the cheese begins fermentation, it is filled with larvae, who eat it, break down its fats and allow it to further ferment into a soft cheese with a little bit of liquid, according to Wikipedia. Sorry, I just dove right into that description without much of a warning. Please forgive me. So now, not only do we have little bugs in our cheese, we get liquid out of it. That is completely disgusting. I’m sure you were already thinking that, but I like to state the obvious, such as ‘it looks like this summer's gonna be a hot one, boy howdy.'

However, that is nowhere near the best part of this cheese. It is actually dangerous. What, you ask? Maggot larvae filled cheese with oozy cheese-water is bad for you? Shocking! Why yes it is. It can become too toxic, the larvae can cause intestinal problems and the cheese can lead to some allergic reactions. But the one danger that takes the cake for the cheese, to awkwardly mix metaphors, is the fact that Casu Marzu can lead to eye damage. Go ahead, ask me why cheese can cause eye damage. Well, the LARVAE CAN JUMP AND OFTEN STRIKE PEOPLE IN THE EYES AS THEY ARE EATING THE CHEESE. Is that not 
precious priceless? So now when you show up to a family event wearing an eye patch, you will no longer have to tell them that you are pretending to be a pirate, hurt yourself horsing around with lawn darts or got that part as the evil villain on a daytime soap opera. You can tell them that you were struck by cheese larvae. On second thought, your reputation might be better served to say you think you are a pirate.

So that my friends is Casu Marzu. I love cheese, but have now officially drawn the line with regard to my love. Apparently, there is such a thing as conditional love. I would now like to express that conditional love in the form of a Dr. Seussian type poem, if you’ll permit me...

I love cheese. 
I love it more than my knees or that stuff that is made by flowers and bees
I love it in the night; I love it in the light
I’ll eat with hair or even a bear
I’ll eat it when it falls in the sand, right straight out of my hand
I shall melt it or smelt it or fry it or dry it
I’ll take it with wine or with pulled swine
I shall eat it off the floor or instead of a smore
I like it with holes, I like it with moles
I will eat cheese every day; I will eat cheese every way
I will even eat it with thugs or melted in mugs
But one thing I will not do is eat it with bugs
So yes, I will eat fondue, but never, ever Casu Marzu
Seriously, that’s freakin’ disgusting


AislĂ­nge said...

Thank the gods I'm not much of a cheese fan. I can't get past the idea of blue cheese; this is unfathomable!

It is a reassuring to read that even you, a self-proclaimed cheese nut, won't touch this particular brand of weirdness. I'd hate to think anyone would eat maggots and possibly risk losing an eye to a disgusting food (I use the term very loosely here)...

meleah rebeccah said...


I heart cheese.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you. I love most cheeses. But I have to draw the line at maggots.

Anonymous said...

Another repost?

Anonymous said...

oh em gee... i love cheese, but maggot cheese, i think not. too bad you don't have any pics depicting those little kamikaze cheese larvae spewing their 'liquid' as they jump from cheese to eye...

i think i will stick to Babybell... yummy wax covered cheese!

Michael C said...

You know, I will have to search for pics of that. It would be fun to see :)

Patti said...

"I just try to stand in between the two people I should be introducing and just hope they take it upon themselves to introduce each other in an effort to break the awkward silence. I come out looking like an idiot, but they get to meet each other and I usually discover I had been calling at least one of them by the wrong last name. It works out quite beautifully."

Ah, pure comic genius here MC, or CM. Whoever you are today, your writing is still incredibly funny.

A photo would be interesting.

Our daughter absolutely adores, loves, craves cheese. I shall show her this post.

Brendan said...

I crave cheese, right now in fact, think I'm gonna go eat some cheese..and blueberries.