Disgusting Food Museum features an interesting exhibition and tasting area with some of the world’s most “disgusting” foods from all over the world.
It’s a fun and unusual experience for both kids and adults with the possibility of challenging your own boundaries of what you consider edible.
In addition to the permanent exhibition, visitors will also find temporary parts like the current exhibition which includes “disgusting” beverages from around the world.
Further down in the article, you can see a selection of some of the “disgusting” foods that are on display as well as view which ones you can try later in the tasting section.
Entry ticket = Vomit bag
After you’ve been welcomed inside the museum, you’ll receive your entrance ticket, which also works as a vomit bag, or if you want to spit something out during the tasting session.
So, remember to save this until the end of your visit. If you need to use it during the exhibition, I’m sure that you can ask for a new one from the staff.
While strolling around and viewing the exhibition, at some stations, you’ll see smelling jars like the one shown in the picture below. Inside these, there is a food item and when you open the jar, you can sniff and know what it smells like.
A selection of “disgusting” foods
I will leave a few of the world’s most disgusting foods for you to explore while you visit the museum. Below are some of the dishes and food items that you can find on display.
In total, the exhibition consists of around 80 foods to learn more about. They all come with a description in English and Swedish along with the actual dish or a photo/video.
Balut is ranked high on many listings of the most disgusting foods in the world. It’s not so hard to understand why since Balut is a various days-old duck fetus in an egg.
It’s a popular food in the Philippines, and to some extent in China and other countries in Southeast Asia. The duck fetus is usually 16 or 18 days old.
Hákarl (fermented shark)
Hákarl is a traditional dish from Iceland which is notorious for its pungent smell. The Greenland shark is poisonous to eat when caught, but becomes edible once the meat has been dug down in the ground where it rots before it’s hung to dry.
Its strong smell is reminiscent of ammonia and comes from the shark’s high concentration of Urea, which is naturally found in the urine of all mammals.
This delicacy is part of the tasting session at the end of your visit. Personally, I didn’t think it was that bad to eat, it smells much worse than it tastes. But it’s not very nice when you know where its smell comes from.
Spider phobia is quite common in Sweden despite the fact that we don’t have any dangerous spiders to worry about. Eating a spider is unthinkable for many Swedes, but in some countries, they’re grilled and eaten on a skewer like any other kind of meat.
Eating sheep’s head is quite common in several countries. Kale Pache is a popular dish from Iran, which is made from the sheep’s head, feet, and stomach.
Even in the Nordic countries, we traditionally used to eat sheep’s head. In Iceland, the local dish is named Svið, and in Norway, they have Smalahove, which is seen as traditional Norwegian food.
Gamle Oles farfar
Smelly cheese is something very familiar to most Scandinavians, but for other people in the world, not so much. Gamle Oles Farfar literally means the grandpa of old Ole. It’s a notorious smelly cheese, which many deem as the “worst” of them all.
Sheep’s eye in tomato juice
A Mongolian delicacy, sheep’s eye in tomato juice, which is also known as “Mongolian Mary”. This beverage date back to the times of Genghis Khan and is said to make things feel better when you’re hungover.
This is a dish from China that is said to have aphrodisiac effects. The texture is described as greasy and a little slimy. The bull penis needs to be cooked for a long time to become edible.
Tong Zi Dan
Another delicacy from China, that’s undoubtedly one of the most repulsive things I have ever heard about. At the exhibition, you can see a video showing how Tong Zi Dan is prepared, and from my point of view, it’s disturbing, to put it mildly.
It’s a traditional dish from Dongyang in China, where eggs are cooked in the urine of young boys, who should preferably be peasant boys that are younger than 10 years old.
Kungu cake is an eastern African delicacy made from millions of mosquitoes that have been mashed together into a cake. It is then fried and prepared as a burger. Kungu can also be used for flavoring in stews and soups to give the dish some umami.
Cheese with living maggots (Casu martzu)
Casu Martzu is a cheese from Sardinia in Italy. The name translates as “rotten cheese” and it’s a cheese made from sheep milk and living maggots. It’s illegal to sell in the EU, but despite this, more than 100 tonnes are estimated to be produced and sold every year.
This was one of the most disgusting things I saw at the Disgusting Food Museum in Malmö, not only because it sounds gross, but for the fact that the maggots inside the cheese were actually alive in the exhibition.
Mopane worms are larvae from the emperor moth Gonimbrasia Belina, which naturally lives in southern Africa. It’s an important source of protein for millions of South Africans who view the Mopane worms as a delicacy.
Tasting of disgusting food
One of the highlights when visiting the Disgusting Food Museum in Malmö is without a doubt the possibility of tasting the “disgusting” food that you have seen in the exhibition.
The tasting session includes crickets, fermented shark, beetles, century eggs, durian, surströmming, and salt licorice just to mention a few things.
Everything is lined up along the disk in small bowls. You’ll be given the food by a guide who will explain to you what it is and what to expect. You can choose from eating everything or just try something that you’re curious to eat.
I still recommend that you try everything if you dare. It will be more fun and memorable experience in this way. At the same time, you’ll challenge yourself and your own preconceptions.
The first delicacies to try are crickets and worms, which are not that bad. These tasted very similar to Crispbread. If I didn’t know that I ate a cricket, I would have zero thoughts about what I just ate being disgusting or not.
After a pretty mild start with tastings of crickets and smaller bugs, which didn’t taste bad, the tasting session continued to foods that are way worse on the scale of “disgusting”.
Durian is one of the items that you can try, also known as the world’s most smelly fruits. Caviar and Hákarl are also on the menu.
The dish shown in the photo below is called Century eggs, a Chinese delicacy where fresh eggs are preserved in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime, and rice hulls for several weeks or months, where it gets a pungent smell that is quite similar to surströmming.
For me personally, I found the beetle shown in the picture below to be the worst to eat. Besides finding it repulsive to eat, it was more about its size and consistency. It was so big and the dried beetle just fell apart inside my mouth where I could feel the wings and more.
And while I probably never will eat this kind of beetle again, if I don’t have to, I’m still happy that I gave it a try.
What does disgusting food really mean?
Food is food, or am I wrong? What’s seen as disgusting is not only something that has to do with taste and consistency. In fact, our culture and tradition have a big impact on what we deem as edible.
In many countries around the world, eating insects or spiders is not controversial at all. But in Sweden, and many Western countries, it’s seen as gross or repulsive. The same goes for salt licorice and caviar, which are very popular in the Nordic countries but often seen as disgusting in other cultures and countries.
At Disgusting Food Museum, you get to question these things and it might be an eye-opener, especially after the tasting session. Many people are afraid of eating unknown things like insects, but it really comes down to what’s considered edible in your culture.
Disgusting Food Museum in other places around the world
Disgusting Food Museum has gained quite a reputation and buzz in media outlets around the world. In fact, the interest has been so high that they have had temporary exhibitions in Bordeaux, Nantes, and Los Angeles.
Currently, there is also a Disgusting Food Museum in Berlin.
Opening hours and ticket information
Disgusting Food Museum is located on Södra Förstadsgatan 2 in central Malmö. The Museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 11:00 until 17:00. The opening hours can differ for specific dates. It’s closed on Midsummer’s eve as well as between 23-25 December and New Year’s Eve.
The entrance is 195 SEK for adults. Students and seniors pay 160 SEK. The price is 65 SEK for kids between 6-15 years in the company of an adult. Children under 6 years have free entrance (max two kids per adult).
In addition to a regular visit, you can also book a VIP tour where you get an exclusive guided tour with the owner. Tickets and VIP tours are booked via their website – disgustingfoodmuseum.com
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