2) Casu Marzu
Casu marzu is widely regarded as the world’s most dangerous cheese. It begins as pecorino sardu, a completely safe variety of cheese that, after being soaked in brine, is smoked and left to ripen in Sardinia finest cheese cellars. To turn pecorino sardu into casu marzu, the cheese is then placed in the open air and allowed to sit until it has attracted cheese flies. These flies lay their eggs in the cheese, which eventually hatch into maggots. As the maggots consume the cheese, they create enzymes capable of promoting fermentation.
Despite the seemingly disgusting process of production, casu marzu is regarded as a delicacy and remains in high demand among locals and Sardinia tourists alike. This level of demand is, in part, due to the unique taste of the cheese, which has been compared to a very ripe version of gorgonzola. Sardinians also enjoy the action of biting into a piece of casu marzu that is still rife with maggots. It’s hard for foreigners to understand the appeal, but according to locals, the cheese actually becomes more dangerous after the maggots have died. At that point, the casu marzu is believed to have gone bad, and thus, is discarded. If you are uninterested in consuming live maggots, look to pecorino sardu — the base used in the production of casu marzu — as your cheese of choice.