Senior suffers from turophobia, the fear of cheese

March 16, 2011 — by Rohan Rajeev

Senior Soorya Rangan doesn’t mind good food. He can eat anything, ranging from something as normal as a simple sandwich, to something as exotic as caviar. However, at the sight or smell of pizza, string cheese, nachos and even Doritos, he turns around in utter distaste. Why?

Rangan has turophobia—the fear of cheese. Since this fear is uncommon, his friends were mostly entertained by the phobia at first.

“The first idea of mine was to somehow play a prank on him,” junior Harsha Murthy said on the first time he heard of Rangan’s strange fear.

Rangan’s fear is intense, if somewhat comical.

“I used to be able to eat cheese,” Rangan said. “Now I shudder whenever someone even says that word.”

Rangan had been fine with eating cheese until a fateful train ride 11 years ago changed everything.

“I watched as a guy next to me ate a pizza with gross-looking cheese on it,” he said. “I can’t really think about or even say the word ‘cheese’ without thinking about that guy and his disgusting pizza.”

Ever since, Rangan has been repulsed by all types of cheese—even common types such as mozzarella and cheddar—and sometimes even runs away from it.

“I get ticklish inside when I see it,” he said. “I feel legitimately sick when I see other people eating it.”

Even Rangan’s friends had not known of his unusual phobia until recently.

Senior Nikhil Jayashankar said he was eating a sandwich with cheese and he asked him—cautiously—if it had cheese in it.

Jayashankar couldn’t believe that his friend was so uncomfortable around cheese.

“My initial reaction was ‘This has got to be a joke,’” he said. “I didn’t think it was possible to be afraid of cheese.”

He soon learned, however, that it wasn’t a joke. In fact, Rangan shuddered at the sight of a single slice of cheese.

“He doesn’t like it at all when [our friends and I] have any cheese in our food, including pizza,” Jayashankar said. “He doesn’t even want it near him.”

However, Rangan’s phobia has provided many funny moments for his friends.

“Once he saw cheese on his sweatshirt,” Jayashankar laughed. “He immediately freaked out and took it off as fast as he could.”


Well, not the string type, just the ones with holes or bumps in it That's why I prefer very thinly sliced cheese And I hate ANYTHING that has holes of a certain size....

I haven't had cheese in almost 2 years now. I got sick from bad cheese once and since then, I can't even stand the sight/smell and ESPECIALLY the touch. I will go to all lengths to ensure my food has absolutely no cheese on it. My boyfriend tried making me touch cheese once and I got the shakes and an elevated heart rate. Cheese is no laughing matter.

I'm 14 from Australia and I was looking through the internet to find someone with the same fear as me and i'm so glad i'm not alone. My friends and family don't belive that i am really terrified and once my friends put a bit of cheese in my food and I nearly died and had to go home because I couldn't handle it. I had to wash my mouth out for hours to feel clean again

I am the same way. I'm 17 years old and haven't ate cheese in 14 years because of how bad it smells, how horrible it looks or even thinking about it. I will not go around anyone with cheese especially if they are eating it warmed up and makes it have an aroma around the house. I WILL PUKE MY GUTS OUT!!!

I used to like cheese a lot, but then I was at summer camp and we had pizza, and there was so much cheese on it that I almost choked, and now whenever I see melted cheese, especially when it gets all stringy when you pull it apart, I feel like I am going to throw up. Now my friends have found out about this and put cheese on me.

have always had a fear of cheese and its all types i cant even touch it with a wrapper on or if its in a box. My friends think its really funny because its weird when a few times they have literally chased me with it a few times i have locked myself in a room and burst into tears because it scared me so much. i can just about tollerate being in the same room if anyone it eating cheese as long as i dont breathe through my nose but if the smell is really bad i would go upstairs in my room open the window and get some air freshener and spray. some people dont understand how serious this phobia is. its hard when you go out to somewhere to eat it seems everything is covered with cheese. i have to hold my breath going past any pizza shop otherwise i will gag and in worst cases throw up. i have resorted to lying saying "can you make sure there isnt cheese on there because im either allergic or lactose intollerent" because it a bit better then saying because im terrified of it.

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