The World’s 10 Tastiest Food Museums Slideshow
June 17, 2013
Our list of the world’s must-see food exhibits
#10 Idaho Potato Museum: Blackfoot, Idaho
Idaho has always had a history with the potato, and this small but quaint museum, built in 1912, showcases this rich history. The museum not only focuses on the history of the potato, but also the history of the potato industry, nutrition facts, and the growing and harvesting process. There is also potato trivia for visitors hoping for an interactive experience.
#9 Frietmuseum: Bruges, Belgium
Although the potato fry is often called the french fry, the Frietmuseum in Bruges claims Belgium is the home of this fast-food favorite. The museum was founded in 2008, but is located in one of the oldest and most beautiful buildings in Belgium, called the Saaihalle. The building dates back to the 14th century, enticing visitors even more to explore the educational attraction. The museum describes the history of the potato fry as well as the condiments they are typically served with. There is also sampling available in the medieval cellars.
#8 Pulmuone Kimichi Museum: Seoul, Korea
Kimichi is a dish unknown to many, but it's a staple in Korean households. The Kimichi Museum describes the history, transition, diversity, and excellence of this local fermented and seasoned vegetable side dish. Visitors can learn how to make more than 80 varieties from different regions through an instructional video. The museum also describes the ingredients and agriculture of the dish. Guests can enjoy the sampling room after learning about this traditional dish.
#7 Mustard Museum: Middletown, Wis.
This museum boasts about its extensive mustard collection, and rightly so. The collection began in 1986, but the museum was opened in 1992 and is now home to the world’s largest collection of mustard and mustard memorabilia. There are more than 5,500 mustards from all 50 states and more than 70 countries. The museum also features vintage advertisements and jars, including the famed Gibbons collection of antique mustard jars. The museum has been featured on Oprah's show, Food Network, and other various magazines and is a popular tourist attraction in Wisconsin. The museum has a "Mustardpiece" theater, a movie theater with films about the condiment, as well as a kitchen and tasting bar.
#6 Jell-O Museum: Le Roy, N.Y.
Located behind the Le Roy House, another historical site in New York, the Jell-O museum tells the story of advertising and merchandising that brought this loved American dessert to fame. Located in the dessert's hometown, the museum features the radio and TV personalities, such as Andy Griffith and Lucile Ball, who made the treat popular. A large exhibit is dedicated to Bill Cosby and his 30-year influence on the product. Group tours are available to explain the vintage advertisements and the story behind the treat. Downstairs, there is an exhibit of carriages and displays. This museum is comprehensive, teaching visitors everything there is to know about the remarkable history of this iconic dessert.
#5 European Asparagus Museum: Schrobenhausen, Germany
Asparagus is known as the royal vegetable in Germany, and the Asparagus Museum plays homage to all things associated with the vegetable, both green and white varieties. Built in 1985, this comprehensive museum shows visitors just how much Germans love the vegetable; during asparagus season, there are many festivals held in its honor and restaurants feature the food in many dishes. The museum is located in three floors of the a 15th century tower, and is home to an Andy Warhol painting of asparagus. The museum shows the history of the agriculture, horticulture, conservation, medical uses, advertising, literature, and arts associated with the special vegetable.
#4 Spam Museum: Austin, Minn.
This museum has risen to fame because of its comprehensive collection of all things SPAM, the popular canned pork meat. The museum is highly interactive and informative, featuring many unique SPAM artifacts. There is SPAM trivia, old advertisements, a WWII exhibit showing the role the meat played in the war, a SPAM game show quiz, the "Can Chronicles" exhibit, which shows the evolution of the can, and a Monty Python tribute. SPAM is served to visitors on toothpicks and many stop to marvel at the wall of SPAM, a wall of 3,390 cans right in the lobby. Visitors are also encouraged to try canning the meat in a mock assembly line. There is also a store for collectables.
#3 World of Coca-Cola: Atlanta
More than simply an exhibit, the World of Coca-Cola museum is an entire world dedicated to one of the most famous beverages in the world, Coca-Cola. At more than 100,000 square feet, this museum showcases everything about the beloved beverage and is home to the secret formula that's more than 125 years old. Guests are each given a glass bottle from the assembly line and can view more than 1,200 artifacts. The world also has a 4-D movie featuring 60 beverages from around the world. The museum continuously has new exhibits, and is currently featuring a Norman Rockwell exhibit about Coca-Cola in pop culture history. And don't forget to fill up a glass at Coca-Cola Freestyle vending machine, which houses more than 100 soda choices.
#2 Currywurst Museum: Berlin
Opened in 2009, this museum is all about pleasing the senses, providing many interactive exhibits for visitors. The museum is dedicated to the currywurst, a curried sausage that is considered an emblem of the city. The museum explains the history and legend of the currywurst and also provides information on fast food and ecology. Visitors are encouraged to participate in the experience — guests can pose behind the counter of a mock snack bar to look like they are running their own currywurst stand. The spice chamber is a popular attraction, inviting visitors to smell their way through the history and secrets of the spices used in the sausage. But most importantly, the museum has many savory treats to offer. There are many options for lunch and you can purchase a ticket that includes (what else?) various kinds of currywurst.
#1 Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum: Yokohama, Japan
The number one tastiest museum on our list is more than just a museum — it is a ramen amusement park! The planning for this state-of-the-art food experience began in 1990 and the space was finally opened in 1994. The museum has a recreation of Tokyo in 1958, the year instant ramen noodles were invented. There is an old-style bar, a souvenir shop, and ramen packs from around the world. The museum also has the expected exhibits about the creation of the food and the history, but the real charm is in the nostalgic attractions, like cotton candy vendors, around the park. Various ramen restaurants are featured inside, and each shop has a distinctive noodle style. This museum is not only educational and delicious, but a complete time-traveling experience.