We all know eating cheese is associated with a certain high—that’s why we can’t get enough of it. New Zealand-based monger Calum Hodgson, however, is taking this idea one step further with his Magic Shroom cheese. Hodgson, also known as Curd Nerd, was scoping out the cheese scene at the Marché International de Rungis when he stumbled upon a rare seasonal cheese shaped in the form of a mushroom. Entranced with the idea, he pitched it to the team behind Kaikoura Cheese. “Let’s make a psychedelic magic mushroom cheese customers can trip out on and we can subvert menus across the country with it,” he said.
Any associated high solely depends on the consumer’s imagination, but these goat’s milk Shrooms certainly are convincing. Each Magic Shroom is fashioned by hand, blooms a heavy Geotrichum rind during the ten-day aging process, and is finished with a dusting of activated charcoal on the cap. Fudgy, dense and a little creamy under the wrinkly rind, these whimsical cheeses carry “varying levels of intrigue,” according to Hodgson, so proceed “with caution.” Paired with a local chile honey and berries, the Magic Shroom becomes truly transcendental.