You’ve gouda brie kidding! Blumenthal's bacteria used to make cheese

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Heston Blumenthals bacteria used to make cheese

Related tags: Heston blumenthal

Cheeses made from the bacteria of five celebrities, including Heston Blumenthal, will be on show at a forthcoming exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

FOOD: Bigger than the Plate explores ‘how innovative individuals, communities and organisations are radically re-inventing how we grow, distribute and experience food’.

One of the projects within the exhibition, Selfmade, will feature a display of cheeses cultured from bacteria samples taken from the armpits, noses and belly buttons of the willing celebrities.

Those involved are Alex James of Blur; British rapper Professor Green; baker and food writer Ruby Tandoh; Madness frontman Suggs; and chef Blumenthal, whose unique ‘microbial portraits’ have help create Cheshire cheese, mozzarella, stilton, cheddar and Comté respectively.

Selfmade is the work of biodesigner Helene Steiner, Food Busker John Quilter and scientist Dr. Thomas Meany, and is based on an idea originally conceived in 2013 by smell researcher Sissel Tolaas and biologist and artist Christina Agapakis.

Using microbiology techniques to grow starter cultures, Steiner and her team used fresh, pasteurized milk to the create five cheeses, with chef Quilter overseeing the intensive cheesemaking process at Open Cell in London’s Shepherd’s Bush.

Those keen to experience Selfmade will not have to curd their enthusiasm for long; it opens to the public on 18 May and runs until 20 October.

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