Disgusting Food Tasting Museum in Sweden
Curators collected what are considered to be some of the most disgusting foods from around the world
“When I first arrived I was skeptical but I really enjoyed it. I think it was fun to walk around and read about all the different disgusting foods around the world and it was fun to smell and see. Then it was more than just watching on Discovery. It was worth it, it was good,” Daniel Johnson, a visitor from Adelaide, Australia said.
The dead mouse in the Chinese wine sure looks nasty, and the maggots in the cheese tend to put people off. But perhaps nothing may be more horrible to an unaccustomed palate than a particular Icelandic delicacy.
“The most disgusting food we have here at the exhibit. If you’re looking at disgust, as far as smell goes the most disgusting and the smelliest item we have here is the Icelandic shark. It’s a fermented sort of rotten Icelandic shark. It’s, it’s, Anthony Bourdain the late TV personality called it the single most disgusting thing he’d ever eaten and I totally agree with him,” Samuel West, the museum curator said.
There is Scottish haggis, made from sheep innards, and Sweden’s smelly Surstromming fermented herring. Asian foods include the strong-smelling Durian fruit, stinky tofu, and Japanese Natto, or soybeans fermented with bacteria.
Latin American dishes include Mexico’s Menudo tripe soup as well as Peru’s roasted guinea pig. North America is represented by sweet treats: Jell-O salad and root beer.
“Then we have Musk Sticks. These things are very, very strange. It says Australia’s favorite Musk Sticks. We actually give samples of these at the museum and they taste like, they taste like soap,” West said.
Some visitors have a hard time of it, with two being sick.
“But it’s okay, it’s okay to vomit because our entry tickets are not really tickets they’re printed on vomit bags so everybody carries around a little vomit bag with them in case they feel sick,” West said.
From spicy rabbit heads to fruit bat soup, the collection aims to challenge perceptions of taste and help visitors contemplate why one culture’s abomination is another’s delicacy.
“I think it’s really interesting because things like Vegemite which we find really normal at home like we’d eat that every day for breakfast, are next to things like the shark that I couldn’t imagine tasting and I think it is revolting so it’s quite funny for us,” Nichole Courtney, a visitor from Perth, Australia said.
And that’s exactly what the curator is aiming for: to open minds one dish at a time.