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Casu martzu: the maggot-filled cheese Giovanni Pilu dreams about

Il casu martzu (o anche marzu o frazigu) Source: Shardan - Own work

In this first episode we will go to Sardinia to taste casu martzu, a cheese filled with... maggots. Joining us are Giovanni Pilu and Marilyn Annecchini, the couple at the helm of the most famous Sardinian restaurant in Australia, Pilu at Freshwater.

Casu martzu (or also marzu or frazigu) became illegal in Italy in 1962 but this does not mean it's not produced and, in some way, distributed.

Sardinian "rotten cheese" is probably the most famous of dairy products that have an infestation of larvae! But in this food, the maggots surprisingly become the best part of it.


  • There is also a larvae gelato and it is apparently very good!
  • To get casu martzu you need to know the right people.
  • According to the Guinness World Book of Records, casu martzu is the "most dangerous cheese in the world".

Giovanni Pilu and Marilyn Annecchini
Marilyn Annecchini e Giovanni Pilu dal ristorante Pilu at Freshwater.
Giovanni Pilu

Giovanni Pilu and his wife Marilyn Annecchini bring Sardinian cuisine every day to the spectacular setting of Freshwater beach in Sydney.

Marilyn, after thirty years, has not yet had the courage to taste the cheese that Giovanni adores.

When I go to Sardinia in September, I am 100% sure that as soon as I arrive, my uncle and my father will tell me 'Look, I have a small piece of cheese for you'.

Listen to the first episode of Scarrafoni In Cucina: The Ugly Ducklings of Italian Cuisine:

Casu martzu: the maggot-filled cheese Giovanni Pilu dreams about
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Scarrafoni in Cucina: The Ugly Ducklings of Italian Cuisine is SBS' first bilingual podcast in English and another language. Listen now in Italian.

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