Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Three cheeses and one trickily named non-cheese

I used to think of myself as a person who would try just about anything once - with the main exception being weird meats.

And before I go any further, let me just mention that this is a very link-y post. In case that kind of thing irritates you. Sometimes I'm just not in the mood for a bunch of links, personally. And yes, I know you don't have to click them. But sometimes their existence just bugs.


I've realized that there's an entire world of stuff I will not try, not once.

Because the other night we went out for dinner with one of our friends who got a charcuterie plate that included head cheese.

And of course I was all, "What kind of cheese is head cheese?"

You guys, it is not a cheese. No! It is meat jelly. Replete with pieces of the head of a cow or pig or sheep.

Clear meat jelly with chunks of animal head. In case you missed it the first time.


So that's the non-cheese. Moving on to the scariest cheese ever.

I learned about casu marzu - or maggot cheese - on a date several years ago.

Back when I was in the throes of my Internet dating career I went to NY for work. In a short span of days, I managed to not only have drinks and drinks and drinks and dinner with the Dementor but to pack in dates with two guys from the Internet as well.

What? I'd have moved to NY for love.

So, lots of alcohol, one museum, several meals, and I learned about maggot cheese. Ooh, and as I recall, I bought a really cute jacket. And I haven't been back to NY since.

ANYway. Getting back on topic.

For me I think the second worst cheese is Milbenkäse, which is this German cheese that's left to sit in a box with cheese mites - the digestive juices of which permeate the cheese and cause fermentation.

Which is not as bad as live maggots, but still very creepy to me.

However, I think I'd eat the cheese mite cheese, or maybe even the cheese mites themselves spread on toast, before I'd eat cheese made out of someone else's breast milk.


Seriously. Daniel Angerer, a NY chef, makes cheese out of his girlfriend's breast milk. She produced a ton of milk, and they were all, why waste it? And we like to make cheese! A recipe for it is on his blog.

Yah. So would you try any of these? How would you rank them?


  1. I lived with a rather poor french family for three months - it was not unusual for there to be something wriggling in the camembert that was served. I found it nauseating, but often not having an alternative, I ate around them. Nobody else seemed to remark upon them...

    I wouldn't eat the casu marzu, not sure about the german cheese. I've had head cheese, and, depending on how it is prepared, it can be not too bad, but not my first culinary choice...

  2. Yeah, no. I like to think I'm pretty adventurous when it comes to food

    Ceviche even grosses me out a little bit so maggot cheese is so off-limits, it's ridiculous.

  3. Cheryl - I don't think I could've handled it that gracefully. While I have way more than a five-second rule for food on the floor, or dirt for that matter, I'm pretty squeamy about stuff.

    Jennie - I think I'm adventurous but I think I'm not when it really comes down to it.

  4. No, no, no and NO!
    Rank? yeah they are!

    In freaking, fucking cold and snowing stillllll ND.
    Sorry, but that actually made me feel better. Whine w/o cheese.

  5. No. No no nooooo. To any of them.

    My Swedish grandmother made a dish every Christmas that was similar to head cheese called sylta. Effing NASTY. Basically a gray jelly meat loaf. My dad loves the stuff, can't get enough. Uuuugh. Gives me the willies. (

  6. You may have ruined cheese for me.

  7. i cant even eat anything that looks like it did when it was alive (seafood, cow tongue etc) let alone something that has something alive in it....
    you are brave for even contemplating eating cheese mites...(shudder)

  8. I would not like cheese from the brain pan.

    I would not like it, Lemon Gloria-I-am.

    I will not eat them here or there.
    I will not eat them anywhere.

    Out of curiosity, is refusal of hospitality any less rude if it's done in Seussian rhyme?

  9. Lynn - Oh, I'm so sorry. It really is kind of endless up there. We had that big block of snow and I was on the verge of going out of my everlovin' mind but now it's springy and it makes life so much better.

    Maybe some copious amounts of wine with the whine? I find liquor temporarily makes it better.

    Wahkonamama - Yikes! And I thought Lutefisk was gross. I was glad my grandmother didn't like it.

    Hillary - You will bounce back, I am certain. Um, I hope. Otherwise, sorry.

    K-Tee - Oh, no! I'm not contemplating doing so. It's more like if someone asked if I'd rather be shot or stabbed, I'd make a choice. Hypothetically. Although in that case, I'm not really sure...

    Dagny - I love you so, I truly do. And I would say yes, for sure.

  10. Head cheese - NEVER

    Maggot cheese - Never EVER

    Cheese mite cheese - Probably never

    Boob Milk Cheese - Um...this creeps me out more than anything else.

    And even though they say she's in good health, and they heat the milk to kill bacteria and other things, I still think it's really, really weird. Also, heating the milk, even to very high temps, won't kill certain organisms that could cause food borne illness.

  11. JFC. I wouldn't eat cheese of my own breast milk let alone someone else's. Just seems too close to cannibalism to me. Or, you know, the end of The Grapes of Wrath which is just as bad.

    You KNOW he just did it to increase traffic to his blog.

  12. Boobie cheese is just plain wrong. If she had an over-supply, she could have donated it to a preemie somewhere who needed it through milkshare or some other milk bank. What a waste. And yeah, they totally did it for the attention.

  13. Ok. I guess I'm totally odd. While breast milk cheese wouldn't be in my top 10 list, I'd sure as hell eat it over head cheese and maggot cheese! And maybe even cheese mite cheese. To me, there's nothing gross in it. It's just milk (yes, from a PERSON not an animal, but still, no bugs, no maggots, no brains).

  14. Ugh. Ugh! I would definitely not be able to eat any of those cheeses.

    On a positive note, I have been wanting to give cheese up until my wedding in two weeks. This will definitely make that easier. Thanks! :)

  15. I would not try any of these cheeses and rank them equally under "Food I may have heard of before but never believed existed until a Lemon Gloria post". If offered a million dollars to try one of them, I suppose I'd pick the boob milk cheese. With a glass of wine or shot of tequilla, please.

  16. I just can't get past that maggot cheese. Turns my stomach. Boob milk cheese? Why?

  17. Stevie - I know - I find it really icky and creepy as well.

    KLZ - I hadn't thought of it as an attention stunt, but I suppose it could be. He does seem just generally enthusiastic and experimental, though.

    Luna - I agree. Although they said that they looked into donating and it was really complicated. I don't know what all that means. And since I was never ever in an over-supply situation, I never looked into donating.

    cla517 - That's a valid opinion. I don't know why I feel like it's so much more upsetting than from an animal, but I do.

    Jane - Well, glad to be of help!

    HKW - You know, a glass of wine or shot of tequila is a really good idea. I could probably take a bite of almost anything with a tequila chaser.

    kayare - I dunno. Why, exactly.

    Wendy - Somehow it hasn't put me off cheese. I don't know why.

  18. I think I shall go back to either Velveta or government cheese after reading this post. Give me processed, preservatives and food coloring over maggots! EEEEE!

  19. eeeeeooooo. For all of them. I've eaten some odd things in my time but have to draw the line when there are things wriggling in them. Boob milk cheese? Hmmmmm. Do wonder what it tastes like tho!

  20. Wow, I guess I'm more adventurous than I thought, because while I don't particularly like the idea of maggot cheese, I think I'd try it after the paper bag trick. And now I'm REALLY curious as to what breast milk cheese tastes like.


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