Disgusting Food Museum Malmö
Food is so much more than sustenance. Curious foods from exotic cultures have always fascinated us. Unfamiliar foods can be delicious, or they can be more of an acquired taste. While cultural differences often separate us and create boundaries, food can also connect us. Sharing a meal is the best way to turn strangers into friends.
The evolutionary function of disgust is to help us avoid disease and unsafe food. Disgust is one of the six fundamental human emotions. While the emotion is universal, the foods that we find disgusting are not. What is delicious to one person can be revolting to another. Disgusting Food Museum invites visitors to explore the world of food and challenge their notions of what is and what isn’t edible. Could changing our ideas of disgust help us embrace the environmentally sustainable foods of the future?
The exhibit has 80 of the world’s most disgusting foods. Adventurous visitors will appreciate the opportunity to smell and taste some of these notorious foods. Do you dare smell the world’s stinkiest cheese? Or taste sweets made with metal cleansing chemicals?
- Surströmming – fermented herring from Sweden.
- Cuy – roasted guinea pigs from Peru.
- Casu marzu – maggot-infested cheese from Sardinia
- Stinky tofu – pungent bean curd from China.
- Hákarl – well-aged shark from Iceland.
- Durian – infamously stinky fruit from Thailand.
- It is a hands-on, tongues-out experience. At the Museum of Disgusting Food in Malmö, in Sweden, all the world’s great cuisines are represented. Each exhibit is considered a delicacy somewhere, but strikes many unaccustomed palates as revolting. Visitors are invited to handle a raw bull’s penis and sip liquor with dead mice in it.
- The idea that anything labeled “food” can be described as “disgusting” is a minefield, running up against cultural tastes and personal preferences, not to mention the shrinking ability of some countries to feed all their people. But clearly, if every human had a cornucopia of the world’s edibles laid out on a table stretching from one end of the earth to the next, not everyone would dig enthusiastically into, say, a lamprey pie, a sliver of maggot-infested pecorino or a chunk of rotten shark meat.
- Fermenterad isländsk surhaj, ost med larver och surkålsjuice. Utställningen som öppnade i Malmö på onsdagen är ingen gourmetmässa – tvärtom så är det äcklet som står i fokus. – Äckel är subjektivt. Det handlar om vad man har vuxit upp med, säger arrangören Andreas Ahrens.
- The idea behind the museum is actually quite noble. The owners want us to think about our perception of food, because we simply throw away way too much food. Why do we find eating insects or meat that was grown in a lab so nasty?
- There was a time when museums were reserved for fine art and high-brow nonsense we only pretend to understand. These days, the world is full of wonderfully weird museums accessible to the everyman with everything from broken relationships and all things phallic to ramen and barbed wire. Now, Sweden is set to open one more: the world’s grossest food museum.
- Welcome to the world’s first exhibition devoted to foods that some would call revolting. The museum’s name and its contents are pretty controversial — one culture’s disgusting is another culture’s delicacy. That goes for escamoles, the tree-ant larvae eaten in Mexico, or shirako, the cod sperm eaten in Japan, or bird’s nest soup, a Chinese dish of nests made from bird saliva. The name is meant to grab visitors’ attention, but that’s the point that West says he’s trying to make: Disgust is a cultural construct.
- Intervju med Andreas Ahrens i Expressen TV
- It’s easy to read the museum as a culturally insensitive house of culinary horrors — people (who are not me) in places (that are not here) eat that? And sure, there’s not not a gross-out factor, as evidenced by the name. But West told me the actual mission is the opposite: By really diving into the world of disgust, he’s hoping he can change the way people eat, and maybe save the world.
- Disgust is considered one of the basic human emotions, much like Pixar’s movie Inside Out showed us. It protects us from disease by making us avoid unsafe food— and yet while the emotion itself is universal, the food that we classify as “disgusting” is not. And that’s exactly why Swedish Samuel West and Andrea Ahrens created a museum dedicated to disgusting food from everywhere across the world.
- The main objective is to make it fun, interesting and interactive," said West, who explains that the exhibition is quite expensive since about half of the dishes are replaced every two days.
- The name of the museum leaves little suspense on what will be there. On the menu, eighty culinary specialties that the world does not envy.
- Have you come across a breathtakingly horrible food and thought ‘that belongs in a museum’? If you haven’t, that’s probably because you’ve never come across a durian. Or any of the other items belonging in the Digusting Food Museum. That’s right, there is an institution archiving all the weird and horrible foods being consumed around the world.
Caroli city, Östergatan 12.
Wednesday – Sunday: 12:00 – 18:00
Recommended last entrance 17:00
Children under 16: three children enter for free per parent/guardian.
How to get there
Take a train to Malmö C, cross the channel and follow Adelgatan/Östergatan towards number 12, see the map. It’s a seven minute walk. We are located inside the Caroli shopping center. The best entrance is from Östergatan, next to Radisson Blu. You can also take any bus that stops at Malmö Caroli.
Do you visit us by car? Park in the Caroli garage, entrance from Kattsundsgatan. Once you enter the garage, take a right towards Radisson and take the elevator up to ground level. Our entrance is right across the elevator. Parking is free for 3 hours if you buy at least two tickets.
Kvarteret Caroli is only a seven-minute walk from Malmö central station, and there is plentiful parking in the area. We are just across the bridge from Copenhagen, and yes, Danes are also welcome.
Most disgusting food eaten: Hákarl from Iceland, fermented shark.
Dr. Samuel West
Director & Chief curator
Most disgusting food eaten: duck fetus cooked in its egg from The Philippines.