A museum dedicated to challenging perceptions of food and what society deems “disgusting” has opened in Sweden, showcasing stomach-churning dishes such as maggot cheese, bull penis and mouse wine.
The Disgusting Food Museum, the first of its kind, opened in Malmo, Sweden, earlier this year, and is packed full of exotic and revolting dishes, designed to intrigue western palates, but also highlight the foods eaten in different cultures.
Disgusting, after all, is a relative term, with many of the dishes featured considered delicacies in some cultures.
“The evolutionary function of disgust is to help us avoid disease and unsafe food,” the museum explains on its website. “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 exhibits contains 80 of the world’s most ‘disgusting’ foods, with visitors also given the opportunity to smell and taste some of the dishes on display. Foods on display include Surströmming (fermented herring from Sweden), Cuy (roasted guinea pigs from Peru), Casu marzu (maggot-infested cheese from Sardinia), Hákarl (well-aged shark from Iceland), and Durian (the infamously stinky fruit from Thailand).
The exhibit also includes Vegemite (Marmite) and liquorice, which in western cultures are widely accepted as common foods, despite some harbouring a distaste for them.
“Our current meat production is terribly environmentally unsustainable, and we urgently need to start considering alternatives,” said Dr Samuel West, curator of the museum. “If we can change our notions of what food is disgusting or not, it could potentially help us transition to more sustainable protein sources.”
The Disgusting Food Museum will open from Wednesday to Sunday between October 31 and January 27, 2019.
Click through for a look at some of the most disgusting foods on display, and where they are enjoyed….