+ A

Museum of gross food seeks to educate public

Nov 02,2018
MALMO, Sweden - Sheep eyeball juice. Bull testicles. Maggot-infested cheese. American root beer.

These are among the items considered palatable or even regarded as delicacies in some cultures. The Disgusting Food Museum in Malmo, Sweden is serving them up.

The temporary museum, which opened Wednesday, clearly braced for revolted visitors to gag at the foods on display, most of which can be smelled or tasted. Tickets came in the form of vomit bags.

Curator Samuel West said the exhibition is meant to entertain, but also to convey a thought-provoking message: What is considered appetizing or repulsive is learned and can change.

He hopes that visitors will be encouraged to try more sustainable food products that are being developed or marketed, like insects and lab-grown meat.

The idea of exploring gross food came to him with the awareness that the “single most impactful way we can impact the environment is by eating less meat,” he said.

“It’s an exhibition that asks visitors to challenge their notions of what is disgusting and what is delicious, and the aim is to get people to understand there is no objective measure of disgust,” West said. “For some, the revelation might be that ‘maybe insects aren’t as disgusting as I thought.”’

The 80 food items in the museum’s exhibit include a bull’s penis, frog smoothies from Peru, a wine made of baby mice that is consumed in China and Sweden’s surstromming, an infamously putrid fermented herring.

Visitors are also introduced to balut, partially developed duck fetuses that are boiled inside the egg and eaten straight from the shell in the Philippines, as well as casu marzu, a Sardinian pecorino cheese infested by maggots.

The Disgusting Food Museum is scheduled to run until Jan. 27 of next year at the Slagthuset MMX in Malmo.