The disgusting food museum opened this week in Sweden and it has people flocking over there just to test out their gag reflexes. 

The museum is the first of its kind in showcasing such a wide variety of food items that come from so many different cultures. But the whole idea behind opening a museum like this, was not to mock what other people eat, but to understand why they eat it. Sometimes, it’s the lack of resources and extreme weather conditions, while sometimes it just comes down to culture. 

Samuel West, a psychologist who is on a path to understand and change people’s perception on things, is the curator of the museum. He previously created the Museum of Failure, which helped change people’s notion on failure and later decided that the next human tendency he wants to explore, is disgust. 

In a report by Deutsche Welle, museum director Andreas Ahrens said, “We shouldn’t be so quick to judge the foods of other cultures as disgusting because our foods are just as disgusting when seen through the lens of another culture.”

The museum has 80 dishes from various parts of the world that is labelled “disgusting” by many. It features dishes like Durian from Thailand known for it’s unbearable odor, maggot-infested cheese Casu Marzu, another type of Sardianian cheese called Su Callu Surdu which is obtained by filling the mothers milk of a goat in the stomach of a slaughtered baby goat, roasted guinea pigs, sheep eyeball juice, fruit bats, fermented horse milk, mouse wine, bull penis, century old eggs and many many more.

The museum also features dishes like jell-o, candy, licorice, root beer and pork. Things that Americans and a good majority of the world consider “normal” food items. But that is the idea that the museum wants to challenge. A regular meat eater might look at fruit bats on a plate and feel like throwing up, at the same time, a pure vegetarian might look at something like a chicken burger and turn their head away. They want to prove that the feeling of disgust is completely subjective. On being asked about why something like pork was added in the museum, Ahrens said, “when you look at other things, like the way that pigs are held in factory farms, when you look at the antibiotics — that is absolutely disgusting and could potentially be life-threatening for humans.” Something like root beer is considered to be disgusting and repulsive to someone from Europe or Asia. “It all depends on what you grew up with, what your parents were eating and drinking,” he added.

The idea behind the opening of such an institution was to not just let people see, but for people to learn and hopefully leave the museum with changed perspectives. 

 

Header Credit – Official Website of Disgusting Food Museum