It is the “most dangerous” cheese in the world
(CNN) – The Italian island of Sardinia sits in the middle of the Tyrrhenian Sea and overlooks Italy from a distance. The 1,849-kilometer stretch of coastline is surrounded by white sand beaches and emerald waters, making the island’s inland landscape rapidly rising and forming waterproof hills and mountains.
It is within these curves that shepherds make worm-infested cheese called Cash March, which was declared the most dangerous cheese in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2009.
Cheese flies, Biophila Casey, They lay their eggs in the cracks formed in the salty pecorino cheese of the island.
The worms hatch, pass through the pasta, digest the proteins in the process and turn the product into soft cream cheese.
Then the cheesemaker opens the top – which is rarely touched by worms – to take out a spoonful of creamy flavor.
This is not the time for the weak. At this point, the larvae inside begin to rotate frantically.
Some locals rotate the cheese with a centrifuge to attach the worms to the cheese. Others like it naturally. They open their mouths and eat everything.
If you can deal with understandable disgust, March has an intense flavor with hints of Mediterranean grass and a spicy aftertaste that lasts for hours.
Some say it is an aphrodisiac. Others say that Dangerous to human health, Because worms bite can survive and develop myositis, microperforations in the gut, but until now, no case of this type has been associated with cash marsh.
Is cheese Commercial sales are prohibitedBut Sardinians have been consuming it for centuries, including jumping larvae.
“Worm infestation is the allure and delight of this cheese,” says 29-year-old Sardinian cuisine Paulo Solinas.
Some Sardinians shudder at the thought of Cash Mars, but he says others who grew up living the salty Pecorino life shamelessly prefer its strong flavors.
“Some pastors see cheese as a very personal treat that only a select few can taste,” says Solinas.
When tourists travel to Sardinia, they usually end up at a restaurant serving Sardinian porcini, a slow-roasting pork, looking at bakers selling pastries, a traditional paper thin bread, and meeting the shepherds who make the island’s Sardinian Fior, Pecorino cheese. .
However, if you are adventurous enough, you can find Cash March. It should not be seen as a strange attraction, but rather a product that keeps an ancient tradition alive and represents the future of food.
Giovanni Fonselo, 77, a Sardinian journalist and eater, has devoted his life to researching the history of local cuisine. This predates Sardinia as a province of the Roman Empire.
“Latin was our language, and in our dialect we find traces of our ancient food,” says Fonseco.
According to Fonseca, no Sardinian recipes were written until 1909. It was then that Vittorio Agnetti, a physician from the mainland of Modena, traveled to Sardinia and compiled six recipes in the book “La nuova cucina delle specialità regionali”.
“But we always ate worms,” Fancello says. “Pliny the Elder and Aristotle talked about it.”
The other ten Italian regions have their worm-infested cheese variation, but while the products elsewhere are considered unique, the Cash Maru is an integral part of Sardinia’s food culture.
Cheesecake has various names such as Casu Pesciu, Casu Fattittu, Hasu Muhidu, Pharmagio Marcio. Each part of the island has its own way of producing it using different types of milk.
“Magical and Unnatural Events”
Food lovers who are inspired by the exploits of chefs like Gordon Ramsay will often go in search of cheese, says Fonselo. “They ask us: ‘How is the Cash March made?’ This is part of our history.We are the children of this diet.It is the result of chance, magic and supernatural events.
Fancello grew up with his father, Sebastiano, in the city of Diezi, where he was the pastor who created Cash Marz. Focello took his family’s sheep to the pastures surrounding the countryside of Mount Ruju, where the clouds are believed to be magical.
For his father, remember that Cash March was a divine gift. If your cheeses are not infested with worms, I will be disappointed. Some of the manufactured cheeses stayed for the family, while others went into the hands of friends or persons requesting it.
Cash March is usually produced in late June, when the local sheep begin to change their milk, the animals enter their breeding season and the grass dries out from the summer heat.
If the hot cherokee wind blows on the day the cheese is made, the cheese-transforming magic works even harder. Funcello says the cheese has a weak texture, making Eve’s job easier.
After three months, the delicacy is ready.
Mario Murrogu, 66, keeps the Cash Maru tradition alive at his farm, Agriturismo Cha Mantra, near Alghero in northern Sardinia. He raises 300 sheep and receives guests in his trattoria, and keeps alive the traditions of Cash Marsh.
“You know when a form turns into a cash march,” he says. “You can see it because of the unusual fluffy texture of the pasta,” says Murrogu.
Today, this is not due to luck, the best conditions that cheese makers use to guarantee as much cash as possible. They have also found a way to use glass jars to preserve the cheese, which traditionally does not last for many years beyond September.
Despite the admiration, the legal status of the cheese is a gray area.
Cash March is registered as a traditional Sardinian product and is therefore preserved locally. However, it has been outlawed by the Italian government since 1962 due to laws prohibiting the consumption of parasitic food.
Those who sell cheese can be fined up to 50,000 euros (about $ 60,000), but the Sardinians laugh when they hear the ban on their beloved cheese.
In recent years, the EU has begun to study and Update the concept of eating larvae Thanks for the comment that they are one Innovative food (Innovative food, In English), insects are bred for consumption.
Investigation Its consumption helps to reduce carbon dioxide emissions associated with livestock and mitigate climate change.
Roberto Flor, Sardinian Director Skylape Food Lab, The Dietary Change Laboratory at the Danish Technical University Innovation Center has long studied the concept of insect ingestion.
For a few years, he led the research and development team at the Nordic Food Laboratory Noma Restaurant, With three Michelin stars, trying to find ways to get insects into our food.
“Many cultures associate an insect with an ingredient,” says Flour. That is, the Sardinians prefer cheese to worms and are often horrified by the idea that people in Thailand eat scorpions or cricket.
Flor says he has traveled around the world to study how different cultures approach insects for food, and believes that although psychological barriers make it difficult to radically change eating habits, such consumption is widespread.
With an open mind
“How do you define edible food?” He says. “Every part of the world has different ways of eating insects.”
He firmly believes that the Sardinian flavor is safe to eat.
“I don’t think anyone would have died eating cash. If they had done so they might have been drunk. You know you’ll drink a lot when you eat it.”
Flor hopes that Cash Maru will soon leave its secret status and become a symbol of Sardinia, not because of its unusual production, but because it does not match the flavors of the modern mainstream and is now a symbol of other disappearing foods.
In 2005, researchers at the University of Saskatchewan in Sardinia took the first step in this direction: they showed that flies can grow in the laboratory, infect sheep cheese, and cause the process to occur in a controlled way.
Islanders and researchers hope the EU will soon come out in their favor.
Until then, anyone wishing to try it should ask when they are coming to Sardinia.
For those who are willing to stop worrying about what they are eating, it provides a realistic experience that reminds them of a time when nothing was thrown away and a limited time limit of what can be eaten or not eaten.
According to Seismonger Murogu, rightly so, locals are open-minded about the best way to eat cash marshmallows, but it is known that some other regional delicacies can easily slip through.
“We spread the cheese on the wet panel caramel and eat it,” he says. “But as long as there’s some pharmagio marcio and a good can of wine, you can eat anyway.”