Jeremiah's School of Levitation


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

New Gross Food!

So, the title of Most Gross Foodstuff has been held, in my records, by live monkey brains, which, years ago, I saw get eaten by some grinning businessmen (on TV, that is--I don't frequent places that eat live monkeys--not since my short-lived Dark, Self-Absorbed, Fatalistic Post-College Years). I'll spare you the inhumane way this delicacy is prepared (and, if you've seen it done, you know why I don't really want to put that image in anyone else's head). Eating live monkey brains has been condemnned not just as flat-out inhumane, but, among other things, it is attributed to helping the AIDS epidemic get started, seeing that live monkey brains may harbor some viruses that humans, strangely enough, don't have a biological answer for.

And, in most respects, live monkey brains still hold the title of most gross food, due to the whole process involved in eating them, however, I ran across something that made my stomach do a flip. It's called casu marzu. It is, in short, rotten cheese that moves. It moves with the sickening grace of the flipping, squirming bodies of maggots. See, this cheese is considered a secret delicacy in Sardinia, Italy. You put it out to let it rot and then get infested with fly eggs, which then hatch into lovely maggots. Thanks to the maggot action, the cheese becomes a gooey mess, that you then can gobble down. And, no, you don't win 50 grand for doing it.

Here, let me just stick this quote in from Wikipedia:

Derived from Pecorino Sardo, casu marzu goes beyond typical fermentation to a stage most would consider to be decomposition, brought about by the digestive action of the larvae of the cheese fly, Piophila casei. These larvae are deliberately introduced to the cheese, promoting an advanced level of fermentation and breaking down the cheese's fats. The texture of the cheese becomes very soft, with some liquid (called "lagrima") seeping out. The larvae themselves appear as transparent, white worms, about 8 mm (1/3 inch) long. When disturbed, the larvae can jump for distances up to 15 cm (6 inches), prompting recommendations of eye protection for those eating the cheese. Some people clear the larvae from the cheese before consuming; others do not.

Some people clear the larvae from the cheese before consuming; others do not." See, there are two types of people in this world: Those who clear the larvae from the rotted, putrid cheese before they eat it, and those who don't. So, choose your friends according to that precept, and you should be just fine. Personally, I'd be lonely in this world, because I'm the type of person who would clear the ROOM if this cheese gets presented to me (well, okay, I have to admit, as a cheese lover myself--you should try Tomme de mi grandmere, by the way; it's amazing, and maggot-free--I did wonder just a bit how this marzu stuff tasted and if indeed it might be a delicacy, but, dang man, maggots!)

Some have dismissed this as urban legend, but it is backed up in The Wall Street Journal, Bon Appetit, and in a book called The Devil's Picnic, among other places, so I am inclined to believe it, though I don't want to.

So for this week, I'm moving this food to number one most gross. And, I'm going to try not to imagine how it would look and taste when spread generously over a plate of monkey brains...
Jeremiah, 9:23 AM

7 Back at me:

Have you stumbled across "Steve, don't it it!" yet?

Plenty of gross foods there for you to get icked out by - but I haven't seen any maggot cheese.

Now, if you'll pardon me,I feel like retching...
Blogger Teri, at 10:56 AM  
Teri: Heavens to mergatroid, that Steve Don't Eat It is hilarious, and it also makes me aware of my tongue, which is gross. The post where he drinks breast milk (Volume 5) is absolutely classic. I always wondered how that tasted. Thanks for that link!
Blogger Jeremiah, at 11:58 AM  
What can I say? I am ... revolted.
Blogger Sarah Elaine, at 8:59 PM  
i got as far as the live monkey brains... i'll read the rest tomorrow...

Blogger Turtle Guy, at 10:15 PM  
I'm thrilled you got past my typo... Steve don't it it? (Must. Learn. to. Proofread. Comments.)

I'll being saying "heavens to mergatroid" all day now... haven't heard THAT in ages.
Blogger Teri, at 8:47 AM  
Sarah: Sorry. Don't know what got into me. I know what WON'T get into me though.

TG: Same thing I said to Sarah. The rest, I'll say, isn't as bad as live monkey brains.

Teri: Actually, "it" is how my son pronounced "eat" in his early years, and is still the way you say it in some parts of Texas.
Blogger Jeremiah, at 9:51 AM  
I'm laughing my ass off with that kind of 'ooooohhh' sound, mostly at: "...there are two types of people in this world: Those who clear the larvae from the rotted, putrid cheese before they eat it, and those who don't."

I'm wid ya...I'd be running screaming into the town three towns over before I'd eat that stuff.

Does Fear Factor know about this???
Blogger Mona Buonanotte, at 9:53 AM  

Say sump-tun