A student has warned her friends to tread caerphilly after she was tormented because of her fear – of CHEESE.
Katie Weston, 20, has suffered from the unbrielievable phobia known as Turophobia for as long as she can remember.
The second year English literature student from Cardiff claims her fear is so damaging, she is left gagging at the smell of the dairy product.
Pretty Katie has to tread Caerphilly because if she ever inadvertently tastes it, she has to run to the toilet to spit it out and then brush her teath.
Katie’s unique fear has led to three of her flatmates trying to play pranks on her by hiding cheese around their home or trying to touch her with it.
Speaking to student newspaper The Tab, she said: “My flatmates tend to take advantage of my fear by playing pranks on me.
“Once they even hid ten gratings of cheese in my room while I was at university.
“I got quite worried because I only found nine pieces for a really long time, until I tried to leave my room and realised it was hidden under the doorknob and I had to touch it.
“I was quite panicked and had to wash my hands right away.”
On another occasion last year her house mates hid cheese sauce in her shower head.
She said: “It made me pretty anxious about using my own shower for a while.”
While Katie’s friends find her phobia absolutely crackers, she said she doesn’t always think it’s a Gouda joke.
She said: “I try to play along with the humour but sometimes its really hard to not get mad.
“Once my friend was putting a cheese string on my face and it was making me really anxious.”
Katie said the cheese that triggers her most is parmesan, which has the strongest smell, while she is least affected by the less potent mozzarella.
She said: “My fear applies to all types of cheese, but if I had to pick the worst one then it would have to be parmesan.
“It has a very strong smell, whilst mozzarella is less potent and easier to cope with. Blocks of cheese are also pretty bad because of their size.
“The sight of hard cheese makes me cringe and the smell alone often causes me to gag.”
When she worked at a restaurant, she would have other staff members make cheese boards because the smell was too strong and she would have to keep washing her hands.
Turophobia is usually triggered by a traumatic childhood memory, which for Katie came from the first time she ever ate cheese.
She said: “When I was six I ate a cheese string, which was the first time I ever tasted cheese.
“I instantly threw up in the bin at my friend’s house, where I was when I ate it. It was a traumatic memory.”