At Purple Travel, we’ve noticed a trend emerging around the world and it’s about as random as you can imagine. Without further ado, enjoy the new foodie museums.
For those who turn your nose up at the high-brow artefacts on display the Louvre, the Vatican or the Hermitage, these museums may be just the thing for you. Enter the food museum, an unexpected answer the prayers of women all over, who want nothing more than to enjoy their food without gaining weight.
The story begins in Italy; located just outside of Bologna, a €1.5m ice-cream museum details the rise of gelato. Taking visitors on a tour from gelato’s initial incarnation as a chilled delicacy for Roman emperors, to the sweet treat we know today that’s seen on every corner of Italy, this free museum is located at the headquarters of Carpigiani, a gelato machine maker founded in Bologna in 1946.
Across the pond, in the neighbourhood of Fishtown (!) in Philadelphia, America’s first pizza museum has just opened its doors. A veritable shrine to the popular fast food, ‘Pizza Brain’ is part museum, part restaurant. “We thought it was a funny idea, and we started doing some research,”owner Brian Dwyer believed, “And when we discovered that nowhere on earth was there a physical place, a monument built to pizza, we said, “This is going to be huge.””
While you may have already sectioned Dywer under the Mental Health Act, strangely enough, there are a number of like-minded individuals who have opened similar museums around the world in recent years, ranging in focus from currywurst to Jell-O, from a museum of burnt food to one about vinegar. There’s the International Banana Club and Museum in California, which claims to be the world’s first and largest museum dedicated entirely to the banana, and is home to some 17,000 banana items (and also Ken, the “Top Banana” and Glenn, the “Banana Man”). If bananas aren’t your thing and you’re not so keen on fruit-suited men either, head to the Spam Museum in Minnesota. This 16,500-square-foot museum is dedicated entirely to canned-meat enthusiasts. If you’re curious as to why SPAM (which turns 71 years old this year) deserves its own museum, let us refer you to the website: “SPAM is the cradle of civilization. It is the ultimate culinary perfection. Within these walls, all of life’s questions will be deliciously answered.”
And if you thought that was weird, check out this of food (word of warning: do not peruse on an empty stomach).
Museum of Burnt Food, Arlington, Mass.
Bionic Burger Museum, Online
The Currywurst Museum, Berlin, Germany
The Jell-O Gallery, LeRoy, N.Y.
International Vinegar Museum, Roslyn, S.D.
The Potato Museum, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Also check out FoodMuseum.com, which has a great roundup of food museums around the world.