Human cheeses on offer in Dublin

By Laurence Gibbons contact

- Last updated on GMT

The 11 human cheeses will be on display at the Science Gallery, Dublin, until January 19 2014
The 11 human cheeses will be on display at the Science Gallery, Dublin, until January 19 2014

Related tags: Cheese, Bacteria

Eleven ‘human cheeses’, created using bacteria extracted from the belly buttons, feet, mouths and tears of artists, writers and cheese makers, are on offer at a Dublin gallery.

However, don’t expect to see them on retailers’ shelves anytime soon; the creation of the cheeses is all in the name of science.

The ‘Selfmade’ installation, by US scientist Christina Agapakis and Norwegian scent expert Sissel Tolaas, is part of the ‘Grow Your Own … Life After Nature’ exhibition at the Science Gallery, in Dublin.

‘Selfmade’ is a series of microbial portraits reflecting an individual’s microbial landscape in a unique cheese. Each cheese is crafted from starter cultures sampled from the skin of a different person.

The project aims to explore the possibilities for a ‘relational synthetic biology’ through the practices of cheesemaking.

‘Not for eating’

Agapakis said: “This is cheese not for eating, but for thinking about. I wanted bacteria from the mouth and between the toes, that’s where you get a lot of diversity and a lot of cheese specific organisms.”

A short film documenting the process of cheesemaking, along with interviews of the bacterial donors accompanies the cheese display and the data from microbiological and odour analysis.

‘Selfmade’ runs until January 19 2014.

Related topics: Dairy, Dairy-based ingredients

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