If you’ve ever been disgusted by a meal set in front of you, welcome to my world – and welcome to a museum dedicated to all the foods we find ‘eww’.
Depending on where you come from and how you grew up, you might love Vegemite sandwiches and hate roasted guinea pigs. Others may gag at the sight of maggot-infested cheese but enjoy serving up durian fruit.
The Disgusting Food Museum is dedicated to all those weird, wacky, and I guess, wonderful foods that make you question what people were thinking when they stuck them in their mouths.
The museum’s founder Samuel West says, “Your ticket is a vomit bag with our logo” and while he’s kidding, you might just need that bag — the museum does display Jell-O salad, after all.
“The museum aims to help people question their basic assumptions about food,” West says. “If disgust is cultural and contextual, then it is also changeable.”
West is also behind the Museum of Failure and is hoping that at this museum, goers can look beyond their differences while perusing the 80 curated dishes, some of which were made by drowning animals (see: Chinese mouse wine or the ortolan delicacy). Other dishes have live animals, such as locusts (from Israel) and casu marzu, a Sardinian cheese infested with maggots. BYO crackers.
“Is it really that disgusting to eat a grasshopper or locust when you eat bacon? Or is it really disgusting to eat guinea pigs when you eat regular beef?” West asks us.
“We hope that the museum can contribute to a growing interest and acceptance of more ecologically sustainable protein sources, such as insects,” he says.
Some of the exhibits are lying in medical-grade research jars to mask the smell (ahem, surströmming), while others will have to be replaced every other day.
If you’re thinking of filling up on raw bull’s penis or pungent bean curd at this museum, I’m sorry to say that this is a hands-off zone. Though if you’re willing to dish out a bit more cash, those that are brave enough to try the delights of the Disgusting Food Museum can book a team experience, which includes a “unique tasting that no one will ever be able to forget,” for under AUS$50 (about US$35) per person. BYO bucket.
The museum opens on October 29 and opens until late January 2019. Check out the Disgusting Food Museum online for opening times and entrance fees.