There’s a museum for everything. Miniatures, bunnies, toilets, and even the Mob have museums across the globe dedicated to their very existence. But just as people are passionate about Burt Reynolds and his friends, they are passionate about foodstuffs like Pez, pasta, and SPAM. Throughout America and around the world there are museums that shine a spotlight on specific and unique culinary inventions, disasters, and histories.
These one-of-a-kind museums are usually born of someone’s undying love of specific foods, whether it’s bananas or burnt food, and they’re oftentimes filled with artifacts and memorabilia collected by a small group of dedicated people (if not just one person) over the course of many years. The curator at the Banana Museum, for example, in Washington has amassed a seriously impressive collection of banana-related artifacts, from signs showing the first full banana cargo into the U.S. to vintage advertisements, trade cards, and banana-shaped instruments. And in Illinois, the celebration of the very first McDonald’s store draws in visitors from near and far who come to see the sign hawking burgers for a mere 15 cents, as well as the original '50s layout of the restaurant. While it’s no longer operating, there is a modern-day Mickey D’s across the street to satisfy history-induced cravings.
In Berlin, it was only a matter of time until someone founded a museum devoted to one of the country’s most widely consumed and loved street snacks: the currywurst (spicy sausages in curry ketchup and often served with fries). And so the Currywurst Museum, which opened in 2009, shows visitors the history of the currywurst, touches on the ingredients and spices used, and offers the perfect photo opportunity: a currywurst street cart to stand behind.
So whether it’s uncovering truths you never knew about a favorite food, at the french fry museum in Belgium for example, or discovering that someone else loves Dutch cheeses as much as you do, these museums offer an off-the-beaten-path choice for traveling food lovers.