Lonely Planet Writer

Sweden opening a new museum dedicated to the world's grossest foods

Disgust is considered one of the basic human emotions, much like Pixar’s movie Inside Out showed us. It protects us from disease by making us avoid unsafe food— and yet while the emotion itself is universal, the food that we classify as “disgusting” is not. And that’s exactly why Swedish Samuel West and Andrea Ahrens created a museum dedicated to disgusting food from everywhere across the world.

The curators of the Museum, Andreas Ahrens and Samuel West. Photo by Anja Barte Telin/Disgusting Food Museum

“The museum aims to help people question their basic assumptions about food,” curator and chief disgustologist Samuel West told Lonely Planet. “If disgust is cultural and contextual, then it is also changeable”. And what better way to prove this theory than creating a Disgusting Food Museum?

Garum is a sauce made from fish intestines, particularly loved by the ancient Romans. Photo by Anja Barte Telin/Disgusting Food Museum

Located in Malmö, the third-largest city in Sweden just a bridge away from Denmark, the museum will officially open its doors on 29 October and showcase 80 of the world’s most disgusting foods, which include but are very much not limited to casu marzu (a maggot-infested cheese from Sardinia), surströmming (fermented herring from Sweden) and durian (the infamously stinky fruit from Thailand).

Durian is also known in Asia as “the king of fruits”. Photo by Anja Barte Telin/Disgusting Food Museum

“I was thinking about how interesting it would be to dedicate a museum not to the most beautiful or tastiest food, but to the world’s most disgusting food,” Samuel West continued. “We hope that the museum can contribute to a growing interest and acceptance of more ecologically sustainable protein sources, such as insects”.

You’ve heard about blue cheese, but what about maggots cheese? Photo by Anja Barte Telin/Disgusting Food Museum

So, if you’re looking to challenge yourself and your ideas of what is or isn’t edible, the Disgusting Food Museum might be just the place for you. And if you go with a group of six or more friends, you could also participate in the “Taste one for the team” event— challenge each other to a “unique tasting that no one will ever be able to forget”!

Kumis is a drink made of fermented mare milk, consumed mostly in the steppes of Central Asia. Photo by Anja Barte Telin/Disgusting Food Museum

If you want to take a tour between the world’s grossest foods and dare yourself to try some of them, you can organize your visit to the museum on its official website here.