Museums usually evoke a sense of seriousness and respect. We think about building filled with oil paintings painted by the old masters, or sculptures with signs telling us not to touch, or else. Although there are several types of museums, this is what most would commonly think of.
In fact, there are all sorts of museums ranging from museums of modern art to museums of historical art, and it gets even weirder from there. Los Angeles had a Museum of Failed Relationships which was full of real artifacts from failed relationships, including a pair of breast implants.
A food museum might sound like a strange idea, but that's until you hear the concept of a disgusting food museum. That's even weirder. Who would be interested in disgusting food? Enough people to start a museum, that's who. Read on to find out more about this truly weird museum.
The main conceit of the Disgusting Food Museum is that while one culture might find a specific food to be disgusting, another culture might find it to be a delicacy. The food on display here is there because a certain culture enjoys it, after all. The museum can be found in Malmo, a Swedish City, and the museum hopes to open up people's minds on what exactly constitutes disgusting food.
The food can range from things like a a spicy rabbits head and fruit bat soup, which isn't too crazy, but there are other "delicacies" that aren't for the faint of heart. Take the Chinese wine with a dead mouse inside, or a cheese filled with maggots. Believe it or not, these are real foods that are enjoyed in some cultures. The museum draws many people, including famous chefs like Anthony Bourdain.
Samuel West is the curator of the Disgusting Food Museum, and he makes sure to note a specific taste that comes from the Icelandic Fermented Shark. Look out though. This isn't exactly mouth watering. West described it as "it taste like chewing on a urine-infested mattress." According to West, Anthony Bourdain had tried it. "Anthony Bourdain, the late TV personality, called it the single most disgusting thing he'd ever eaten, and I totally agree with him."
If you're wondering whether or not the visitors of the museum get sick, West says, "Yes twice. It's okay to vomit because our entry tickets are not really tickets -- they're printed on vomit bags." You know you are in a strange museum when your ticket comes in the form of a vomit bag. You don't see that at the MOMA.
The food can be seen on display in cases, jars, or on boards. You will see familiar things like Scottish Haggis, also known as sheep innards, and plenty of fermented items like the shark and Sweden's Surstromming fermented herring. The maggot filled cheese is known as Sardinia's Casu marzu cheese, and is filled with insect larvae. That might be a sight that you can't get out of your head, so be warned.
There is a wide range of items, some of which are bizarre when put next to each other. For example, Vegemite, an Australian yeast extract spread, is a common delicacy and not quite as strange as something like fruit bat soup. One visitor from Australia noted, "Things like Vegemite which we find really normal at home, like we'd eat that every day for breakfast, are next to things like the shark that I couldn't imagine tasting and I think it is revolting so it's quite funny for us."