One of the most unappealing museums in the world has just opened in Malmö, Sweden – for members of the public who are brave enough to visit, that is.
The Disgusting Food Museum features such delicacies as bull penis (pictured above), spicy rabbit heads, mouse wine, and tomato juice with a pickled sheep’s eye.
You might remember the museum’s curator, Samuel West, from the ironically popular Museum of Failure, which is also located in Sweden.
“When I opened the Museum of Failure I was amazed at the impact it had. If a simple fun exhibit could change peoples’ attitude towards failure, what other assumptions could an exhibit change?” West wrote in a statement sent to INSIDER.
“Our current meat production is terribly environmentally unsustainable, and we urgently need to start considering alternatives. But many people are disgusted by the idea of eating insects and sceptical about lab-grown meat. … If we can change our notions of what food is disgusting or not, it could potentially help us transition to more sustainable protein sources.”
Guests who visit the exhibition can see, smell, and taste 80 different foods, which are considered a luxury in some locales and absolutely vile in others.
Scroll down to have a look at some of the most disgusting offerings, but be warned: This article is not for the faint-hearted.
Cuy, or roasted guinea pig, is one of Peru’s most famous dishes. The indigenous animal has been a staple in the Andean diet for about 5,000 years.
Source: Condé Nast Traveller.
Menudo is a Mexican soup made of the boiled stomach lining of cattle and sheep. It’s rubbery in texture and tastes slightly gamey, according to the museum.
Kumis is a beverage traditionally consumed by farming communities in Russia and Central Asia. Kumis is made of mare’s milk that’s been fermented, making it slightly alcoholic and sparkling.
Source: the Encyclopedia of Microbiology.
Kiviak might just be the strangest meal in the world. Kiviak, which is consumed in the Arctic, is made by gutting a seal and filling its body with 300-500 tiny auk birds, then sewing it back up. The seal sack is then left to ferment for about 18 months to preserve and tenderize the bird meat within. The dish has to be eaten outside because the smell is so pungent. It reportedly tastes like a cross between licorice and a very strong cheese.
Source: BBC Food blog.
Casu Marzu, a Sardinian specialty, is made by cutting the rind off of sheep-milk cheese and allowing maggots to nibble and soften the center — resulting in a much softer, stronger product. It’s imperative to chew the maggots to death before swallowing, to avoid health complications down the line. Somewhat unsurprisingly, Casu Marzu is illegal in the European Union.
Source: All That’s Interesting.
Kale Pache is a soup made from the head and hooves of a sheep or cow. It is traditional in the Caucasus (where it is known as khash) and some Middle Eastern countries.
Source: Smithsonian magazine.
Bull penis is said to be an aphrodisiac and is eaten around the world. According to the museum, it is cut down the urethra and washed to remove the urine smell.
Source: The Guardian.
Baby-mice wine. It’s made by infusing rice wine with dead baby mice and is considered a health tonic in China.
I’ve tried rice wine infused with snakes, and it tastes just as bad as it sounds.
Scottish haggis is a savoury pudding made by stuffing a sheep’s stomach with offal, onion, oatmeal, suet, and spices.
Garum is an ancient Roman sauce made from fermented fish guts. It’s actually not too dissimilar from the fish sauce we’re used to today.
Source: National Geographic.
The century egg dates back to China’s Ming dynasty — it is made by soaking duck, chicken, or quail’s eggs in strong black tea, lime, salt, and freshly burned wood ashes for several weeks or even months.
Mopane worms are considered a delicacy in their native Zimbabwe. The worms are actually caterpillars, and are a species of emperor moth.
In Mongolia, a pickled sheep’s eye in tomato juice is known to some as a fail-safe hangover cure.
Source: the Los Angeles Times.
Indonesian kopi luwak is actually a rather trendy coffee product collected from the excrement of a wild cat-like animal called the Asian palm civet. Coffee cherries pass through the digestive system of the animals and are then collected by farmers who clean, wash, and sell them for roasting.
Source: The Guardian.