November 22, 2018

Welcome to Sweden's Museum of Disgusting Food

“Most museums seek to inspire and delight visitors, regaling them with collections of beautiful artworks and fascinating historical relics. A new museum in Sweden has a rather different goal: to hammer the senses with a display of some of the world’s most reviled foods.

The aptly titled Disgusting Food Museum, which opened recently in the coastal city of Malmo, features 80 dishes from around the world that for one reason or another have earned the epithet of being “disgusting.”

As Deutsche Welle reports, this curatorial menu of curiosities comes from the mind of Samuel West, a psychologist who previously created the Museum of Failure. With his latest project, West is not simply trying to make visitors lose their lunch, but instead hopes to explore the cultural subjectivity of food and challenge our concepts about why certain meals provoke, in the words of Merriam-Webster, such “strong feeling[s] of dislike or disinclination.”

After all, food-related disgust has been shown to be subjective. “[Y]ou still have to learn from your surroundings what you should find disgusting,” West tells Christina Anderson of the New York Times.

Visitors can smell and taste some of the foods, and lest you doubt that the museum means business, its tickets also double as barf bags.”

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