Leaping lizard…or rather maggots. This is pretty gross:
Derived from Percorino, Casu marzu goes beyond typical fermentation fermentation to a stage most would consider decomposition, brought about by the digestive action of the larvae of the cheese fly. These larvae are deliberately introduced to the cheese, promoting an advanced level of fermentation and breaking down of the cheese’s fats. The texture of the cheese becomes very soft, with some liquid seeping out. When disturbed, the larvae can launch themselves for distances up to 15 centimetres (6 in).
Casu marzu is considered toxic when the maggots in the cheese have died. Because of this, only cheese in which the maggots are still alive is eaten. Casu marzu is believed to be an aphrodisiac by local Sardinians (where the cheese is from) Because the larvae in the cheese can launch themselves when disturbed, diners hold their hands above the sandwich to prevent the maggots from leaping into their eyes. Those who do not wish to eat live maggots place the cheese in a sealed paper bag. The maggots, starved for oxygen, writhe and jump in the bag, creating a “pitter-patter” sound. When the sounds subside, the maggots are dead and the cheese can be eaten.