Casu marzu

Casu marzu is definitely a special Italian cheese. It is made from sheep milk on the island of Sardinia. In local Sardinian language it also is known as "casu modde" or "casu cundhídu". In Italian it is called “formaggio marcio”. Casu marzu is made in a very unusual way.

Casu marzu
Casu marzu

It is derived from the Pecorino cheese. The cheese is put to the process of decomposition performed by the larvae of the cheese fly (Piophila casei). These larvae enable high level of fermentation and changes in the cheese's fats. The cheese is very soft. On its surface you can see little bit of liquid called “lagrima” (in the Sardinian “tears”).

Larvae can be removed from the cheese or killed by putting it into the refrigerator. Still there are people who decide to keep the larvae. What's more, most of them require for the larvae to be alive. When consumed Casu marzu is cut into thin stripes and spread over moistened Sardinian flat bread called “pane carsau”. Everything goes well with a glass of good red wine. Some Sardinians believe that this cheese is an aphrodisiac.