Open a Disgusting Food Museum
The main museum is located in Malmö, Sweden, but we would like to let as many as possible experience the exhibit. We welcome local promoters to set up a Disgusting Food Museum show, either as a temporary exhibition or a permanent museum, as a licensed exhibit.
The Disgusting Food Museum lets visitors experience the food from different cultures first hand. They can see the foods, smell some of them and even taste a selection at the tasting bar. The museum breaks down barriers between cultures by showing that we all eat food that might appear disgusting to people from other cultures. The exhibit gently nudges visitors into thinking about their diet and protein intake, by presenting facts rather than forcing a view upon them. Both the exponata and the tasting bar includes insects, as one of the more promising protein sources of the future.
The Malmö exhibit currently has a Net Promoter Score of 63 according to an independent survey of 500 visitors done by Malmö Town. The reviews on Facebook, TripAdvisor, and Google are all over 4.0.
How does Disgusting Food Museum work?
Disgusting Food Museum has two main parts: the exhibit and the tasting area. Both are needed for the optimal experience. The visitors start by going through the exhibit to learn about food from around the world and then get a chance to try a selection of the foods at the tasting bar. No staff interaction is normally needed during the exhibit visit. At the tasting bar 1-3 staff, depending on visitor intensity, are needed.
The recommended venue size can host around 100 visitors at a time, with an average visit time of 1-1.5 hours. The maximum number of visitors per day is 500 if the exhibit is open for 6 hours. A 6-month exhibit can welcome up to 64 000 visitors if open 5 days a week (Wednesday to Sunday).
- Entrance. Cashier/ticket sales, introduction signs, coat hangers. Minimum size 25 square meters.
- Exhibition. All exhibit items, with ample space for visitors. Minimum size 250 square meters. Recommended size 350-500 square meters.
- Tasting bar. Bar counter, straight or L shaped. Combined counter length of 4-8 meters.
- Merchandise shop. T-shirts, aprons, food for sale. Minimum size 25 square meters.
- Storage. Contains extra food, cooking utensils, containers for exhibit items, etc. Can be omitted if the tasting bar is large enough and non-essential supplies are stored off-site. Minimum size 8 square meters.
The exhibit can be adapted to different size venues. For very large venues, exhibit displays can be extended and additional exhibit items could be added. Smaller venues might necessitate the removal of some exhibit items.
How do I start a DFM?
We are open to multiple types of partners. Science centers, food festivals, cities, museums, entrepreneurs, promoters or universities. The partnership depends on the size of the exhibit and the ticket price you charge. Get in touch to learn more.
What do we offer?
- A modular exhibition
- All exhibit items
- Technical plans and documentation for the local exhibit productions
- Consultation during the whole exhibit period
- Training of your staff
- Print and video files
- Most tasting bar foods
- Physical tickets/vomit bags
- Location scout and planning for the exhibit
- Setup of all exhibit items
- One of the founders attend the opening ceremony and press coverage
What is expected of you?
- Finding a venue with all the requirements needed to run the exhibit
- Secure the funding
- Recruit the team needed to run the show
- Visit Disgusting Food Museum Malmö to understand the exhibit
- Follow and manage the production of the exhibition according to the documentation
- Do local marketing and communication
- Operate the exhibition
- Supply some components locally:
- Tables/display cases with lights
- House lights
- Any carpets used
- Merchandise shop
- Ticket booth with a payment solution
- Benches or tables as needed
- Audio guides if used
- Even the foods that appear at the museum in their real forms posed unusual difficulties. To make cuy, a Peruvian dish, West had to watch several YouTube videos on how to skin and boil a guinea pig. “I sent my wife and children away the day I did it,” he recalled. “It just felt wrong, bordering on criminal.” For a South Korean wine that demanded the “fresh turds” of children, Ahrens found himself scooping up his eight-year-old daughter’s excrement and fermenting it with rice wine. The final product is on display at the museum, in a gallon jug, though Ahrens has not mustered the will to try it.
- In this episode of the Atlas Obscura podcast, we visit a food museum in Sweden that challenges what exactly makes something delicious … or disgusting.
- 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.
- 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.
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