Whatever philosophy that encourages the eat local movement got a run for its money this weekend when Miriam Simun served ricotta cheese made from human breast milk at FEAST, an art-centric dinner club in Brooklyn, New York.
The cheese was made from a combination of the milk from a mother in New York, and a cow from the Catskills. It was served on small, edible spoons, drizzled with honey. It was creamy, sweet and mild.
Simun derives milk from willing New York mothers, who she has gotten in touch with through Only The Breast, an online community devoted to mothers looking to buy or sell breast milk.
Along with the human/cow blend ricotta, premiered this weekend, Simun produces three other types of cheeses.
Wisconsin Bang is made from the milk of a Vermont mountain goat and from a lawyer's assistant, who eats a diet rich in organic meat. It's creamy with pungent notes; Sweet Airy Equity, made with the milk of a cow from the Catskills and from a slightly overweight mother in Midtown, whose diet is rich in sweets, is a mild, nutty and hard cheese; City Funk is an aromatic gorgonzola-like cheese, made from the blend of goat's milk and a woman in Manhattan who loves her sweets.
Simun is working alongside a chemist to produce pure human cheese, but the unique protein content of human breast milk renders the hardening process somewhat complicated.
At FEAST, the crowds reaction ranged from, bafflement to impartiality—though the FDA will likely be scratching their head over what to do with this emerging trend of marketable human-derived food products.
Simun displaying her cheese at the ITP Winter Show