Casgiu Merzu
Rotten Cheese

Casgiu merzu is traditionally made on the French island of Corsica (la Corse).  

The name casgiu merzu literally means 'rotten cheese'.  It is the Corsican way to say 'fromage pourri.'

This cheese is prohibited from being sold because of hygiene regulations and health concerns.  It is produced by some Corsican shepherds for their own consumption and for family and friends.

Why is this cheese so rotten and dangerous? 

Casgiu merzu is made by first producing cheese from the milk of goat or sheep.  The cheese is left outside in the open air so that it attracts flies.  The flies lay eggs in the cheese.  Et voilà!  The result is a soft cheese full of les asticots - maggots. 

The cheese is eaten whilst thousands of tiny maggots are wriggling around and jumping about.  If you love this cheese, then you could travel a little further south, to the neighbouring Italian island of Sardinia, where they have their own version of this delicacy. 

 

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