Bacteria From Celebrities’ Bellybutton Used To Make Cheese

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Cheese has always been enjoyed by lots of people throughout the centuries. Be it as an appetizer to go with wine, cooked in food for that savoury flavor, as a complement for sandwiches and salads, or simply by itself.

You can enjoy a wide variety of cheeses from all over the world classified according to type, texture, region it comes from, taste and aroma, even what it is made from. Some being considered as an acquired taste. Yet they all can bring about an air of nostalgia and pleasant, satisfied feelings. That is…until now.

It has been reported that there are two artists who are making cheese from bacteria harvested from the bellybuttons of celebrities. Artists Sissel Tolaas and Christina Agapakis swabbed bacteria from five celebrities – baker Ruby Tandoh, chef Heston Blumenthal, rapper Professor Green, Blur’s Alex James, and Madness musician Suggs – mixing the microorganisms with milk to form the most disenchanting cheeseboard imaginable. These quirky and seemingly unappetising creations form part of an exhibition  at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, called “The Bigger Than The Plate”.


From this ensemble of popular tummies, the artists have managed to cultivate five normally appetising cheese varieties – cheshire cheese, stilton, cheddar, comte, and mozzarella.

In an era of major ecological challenges fast-changing societies and technological re-invention, now is a crucial moment to ask not just what will we be eating tomorrow, but what kind of food future do we want? What could it look like? And taste like?”,  co-curators of the museum Catherine Flood and May Rosenthal Sloan as quoted by the Daily Star.


Similarly, artisian cheesemaker and food writer Rosie Cotton commented the following, as reported by the Daily Star:

I know it sounds disgusting but really it’s quite clever, not all bacteria is bad bacteria. Even the cheese you see in the shops comes from bacteria. Granted it isn’t made from human bacteria but I think this is a fun way of trying something a little different. I wouldn’t necessarily say to try this at home, but it definitely shows the fun that can be had with food if you are willing to step outside the box.”

In fairness, how bad can it really be? It seems to be an interesting exhibit to see. Besides, at least you know it comes from the bellybuttons, from celebrity tummies at that and not elsewhere! So just smile and say cheese! 




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