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Mind altering effects of cheeses?

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I was wondering if anyone else has noticed subtle mood alterations after eating certain cheeses, particularly really funky strong aged cheeses but even with things like Mimolette. Sometimes I get a slight "wired" feeling and insomnia if I consume a lot of funky cheese which I attribute to fermentation compounds in the cheese. Husband has noticed it too. Is it just us?

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  1. I have an unopened wedge of Mimolette. I'll be sure to break out the old psychedelic albums and see what condition my condition is in...
    (apologies to Mickey Newbury)

    1. Not so much mind altering effects but I have gotten a numb nose (especially the tip of my nose) from certain funky cheeses. My husband thinks I'm nuts but honestly the feeling was close to dental Novocain.

      1. I have found that a 6 year old cheddar is best with The Doors while a stilton and tawny port pairs well with Pink Floyd and Dark Side of the Moon.

        Rick Wakeman's Journey to the Centre of the Earth compliments a cave aged Roquefort. A Wisconsin brick from Monroe begs to be consumed with Pink Floyd's The Wall. And of course, who could pass up a brine washed cheese while listening to Debussy's Le Mer.

        Other than having to gargle with copious amounts of gin to kill the odor on the breath so I can also get into bed, I have yet to have any notable physical effects other than the above yearnings.

        1. Mr Tacos swears he has what he calls "crazy cheese dreams" and refuses to eat cheese-heavy meals late in the evening.

          1. Did some reserach. Turns out cheese is rich in Tyramine which can increase blood pressure if large amounts are consumed and can cause migrains in some people.


            Cheese also contains Phenethylamine also found in chocolate which has mood altering properties.


            Other similar compounds also found. Was reading that aged and blue cheeses have the highest amounts.

            1. There are some molds that have psychoactive properties. Maybe they occasionally occur in cheese?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                Anything is possible. Not a cheese expert but my understanding is that different cheeses are made with a range of different bacteria and fungi. Some are introduced by the cheese maker and some are introduced from the environment. The different fermentations produce different flavor characteristics in the cheese and some may have more of certain amine derived and alkaloid compounds that may have mood altering effects if consumed in large enough amounts be sensitive individuals.

                Never meant to imply that cheese gets me high, but sometimes it makes me jittery and gives me insomnia, not that pleasant actually.

              2. I have a friend who has a slight allergic reaction to very sharp cheeses, usually in the form of a tingling on the roof of her mouth.