Taste the World’s Grossest Cuisines at This Disgusting New Museum
Take a vacation, and your friends and family will assume your itinerary includes at least a few amazing meals. But intentionally planning a trip around some of the world’s worst cuisine? That’s a new one.
At the Disgusting Food Museum, which opened on Thursday in Malmö, Sweden, curators collect the most bizarre, sometimes stomach-churning foods on Earth.
Promising to have 80 of the world’s most curious cuisines, the museum certainly delivers. Among the exhibits you’ll find cuy (roasted guinea pig from Peru), hákarl (Icelandic fermented shark), durian (the ridiculously stinky fruit from Thailand) and the world’s stinkiest cheese. There's even a display of kopi luwak: coffee cherries consumed and defecated by civet cats in Indonesia, East Timor and other Southeast Asian nations.
Many of the exhibits are interactive, inviting guests to touch the food, aside from simply smelling or tasting it.
Dr. Samuel West, the psychologist, curator and "chief disgustologist" responsible for this intentionally gross museum, told Metro that surströmming, or fermented Baltic Sea herring, was almost too much for him to bear. “We tested it, and tested it and were almost kicked out of our current office space because of the smell. I think we’ve got it solved, but I’m not sure. It’s one of those things that keeps me awake at night,” he said.
Of course, the museum aims to do more than make visitors nauseous. "What we find disgusting has to be learned — it's purely cultural," West told CNN. That's why root beer and a Jell-O salad occupy displays in the odious gallery of unpalatable foods. Though they may seem fine, even delicious to some Americans, these items are simply repellent elsewhere.
Ready to be revolted? Brave children can get into the museum for free, but adults will have to fork over 185 Swedish Krona (about $20) for the experience. The museum also hosts outdoor tastings of the infamous fermented herring, shark and durian Wednesday through Sunday, and team tastings can be arranged for a premium. (Talk about group bonding!) And, yes, you can bet your weight in stinky cheese that there’s a gift shop stocked with some, well, unusual food items.
The museum is open until Jan. 27, after which West hopes to take the ghastly grub on tour to other cities.