Cheese Made From Toe Microbes Looks As Good As It Smells – Not Very

And All This Time You've Been Worried About How Your Sausage Is Made

Toe Cheese

What wine do you pair with that?

While a slice of cheddar on top of a sandwich, or a bit of Brie paired with a cracker is usually an appetizing sight, the smell of cheese doesn’t have the best reputation. If you’ve ever heard anyone joke “who cut the cheese?” following a less than fragrant moment, then you already know it’s not the best smelling food. Walk into a cheese shop and you might smell a few blocks that make you wonder if someone left their dirty socks in a corner. Walk into an exhibition at Dublin’s Science Gallery and that scent connection would probably be more accurate than you know.

Selfmade is an exhibit that hosts a number of cheeses crafted from cells collected from human bodies. Part art, part science, it’s the work of Christina Agapakis and Prof. Sissel Tolaas, who sampled microbes from human mouths, toes, navels, and even tears to craft a set of 11 unique cheeses. {The Verge}

In their artist’s statement, Agapakis and Tolaas posit that the toe jam (and belly button lint) cheese may improve tolerance for the not so appealing aromas associated with those things.

Many of the stinkiest cheeses are hosts to species of bacteria closely related to the bacteria responsible for the characteristic smells of human armpits or feet. Can knowledge and tolerance of bacterial cultures in our food improve tolerance of the bacteria on our bodies? {Dublin Science Gallery}

While it is nice to get scientific confirmation that some cheese really does smell like dirty feet, we’re not sure that “tolerance” is the first word that comes to mind for a cheese actually made from foot bacteria. Not quite sure what wine goes with toe or belly button cheese, but we’d imagine most people would need plenty of it to come close to being drunk enough to give this a try.

In case you have a really unusual taste palette, the scientist artists who created this do say it’s not a good idea  for human consumption, just in case “toe cheese” and “navel bacteria cheese” weren’t enough of a tip off for you.

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