12 April, 2019
Rare, stinky and possibly illegal: six of the most unforgettable cheeses in the world
As with most things, buying cheese is relative. The follies of a person are the follies of another week. Similarly, what some buyers consider a rarity could be the subject of rumors elsewhere. We have traveled the world to find the cheeses that we thought were the most unusual, distinctive, extreme or memorable. From ass to donkey milk to the luxury of larvae, here are six of the most unforgettable cheeses in the world.
Old Boulogne, France
A washed rind cheese – a category that is itself notoriously shabby – Le Vieux Boulogne is made from unpasteurized cow's milk from the French city of Boulogne-sur-Mer. During production, the square-shaped pre-salted cheese is washed with beer, which develops its characteristic odor of damp earth and rotting leaves. The stench of Vieux Boulogne is so strong that cheese has been scientifically proven to be the finest in the world (many times).
Limburger, Belgium (second place unofficial)
Semi-soft cheese made from cow's milk, the characteristic odor of Limburger comes from Brevibacterium flax used for cheese fermentation. This bacteria is also found on human skin and is partially responsible for body odor and feet.
The most controversial
Casu Marzu, Italy
Traditional cheese with Sardinian sheep's milk, served with milk infested with larvae, casu marzu is not for sensitive souls. Maggots are not only there for novelty, though; they process the cheese, giving the casu marzu its distinct texture and flavor, which some describe as resembling a particularly mature gorgonzola.
The inhabitants consider that it is dangerous to eat the cheese once the translucent worms are dead, but you can consume it with the still wriggling larvae inside, if you wish.
Due to the health problems (obvious) related to cheese riddled with larvae, the commercial production and sale of casu marzu has been banned since the 1990s. But efforts are underway to make cheese a traditional food. Thus exempting from EU law.
Dating back to the Middle Ages and produced exclusively in the village of Würchwitz, Milbenkäse is the German answer to casu marzu.
Its name roughly translates to "mite cheese". It is made with cottage cheese, flavored with salt and cumin, shaped into small wheels, and then dried for several weeks. The wheels are then placed in a wooden box containing rye flour and cheese mites, which is allowed to do for a period of a few months to a year.
Milbenkäse is manufactured under a special permit issued by the local Food Safety Bureau. Strict HACCP compliance is applied. Although technically not 100% legal, this allows the cheese to fall into a legal gray area under US regulations.
Bitto Storico, Italy
A rare Italian cheese produced in the Valtellina Valley in Lombardy, the Bitto Storico is the oldest commercially available cheese in the world.
The cheese Denominazione di Origine Protetta (DOP) takes its name from the river Bitto, in the valley, and is produced during the summer with the aid of a mixture of cow's milk and Goat milk Orobica (species found exclusively in the Northern Alps of Italy).
Bitto Storico can be aged up to two decades, but it is usually consumed between five and ten years. In its youth, the cheese is sweet, sweet and delicate. As he gets older, he makes more spicy and bitter notes. The higher the percentage of goat's milk used in production, the longer the cheese can age.
The most expensive
Pule is made exclusively in the Zasavica Special Nature Reserve in Serbia, located 30 km from Belgrade. At around $ 576 a pound, it's the most expensive cheese in the world, and its extremely high price is all the more surprising as you discover that it's made from donkey's milk .
Donkey's milk contains 60 times more vitamin C than cow; it is therefore extremely healthy, but its production is far from profitable. It only takes about 25 liters to make a kilo of cheese and each donkey usually produces only 200 milliliters a day.