Curious Bites

Heston Blumenthal to be Turned into Cheese

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Heston Blumenthal to be Turned into Cheese

What if, in the future, you could download your consciousness onto a computer? Forget about that though, what if you could download yourself into cheese? The future is already here.

An exhibition to be held at the Victoria and Albert Museum Food: Bigger than the Plate, will feature artisan cheeses of a very different kind. These cheeses have been made with celebrity culture and by that we mean, from bacteria, taken from the bodies of British celebrities.

Alex James of the rock band Blur, Michelin-star chef Heston Blumenthal, former Great British Bake Off finalist and author Ruby Tandoh, the singer-songwriter Suggs, and the rapper Professor Green all volunteered their bodily bacteria for the art project.

The project called Selfmade, is the brainchild of Helene Steiner and Thomas Meany a synthetic biologist, and a biodesigner who teamed up with chef John Quilter for the unusual cheese creation and are now maturing a cheshire cheese (from Alex Jones), a comté (Heston Blumenthal), a mozzarella (Professor Green), a Stilton (Ruby Tandoh), and a Cheddar (Suggs).

The project uses human bacteria as a starter culture for the cheese. In fact the bacteria that makes your favourite smelly gorgonzola, is already quite similar to human bacteria. The starter culture is added to milk which makes the milk curdle and helps form wheels of cheese. These cultures for Selfmade were taken from swabs taken from the celebrities’ bodies and then grown in a lab until there was enough to make cheese curds form from milk.

These cheeses are not for consumption however, it’s really just a novelty exhibition and the cheeses will be exhibited under glass and definitely not free to sample by hungry, or celebrity-obsessed fans.

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