What is mouth watering for some will make the other person feel nauseous, caused by the look of a dish, the aroma, the taste or the way it is produced. For example, people from a certain region in China love snake wine (pictured above). Others, however, are likely to find the idea of drinking an alcoholic beverage that also doubles in order to preserve a rather disgusting snake.
The Museum of Disgusting Food (DFM) Berlin presents international dishes including bull penis, grilled dog or cow blood in the hope of making people rethink the things they consume and perhaps even discover new things. Visitors can even buy some of the food at the museum shop, or enjoy it on site at a tasting bar.
“What is delicious for one person may be disgusting for another,” the curators wrote on the museum’s website.
Mary Mongolian – or sheep eye grain in tomato juice
The first DFM Museum opened in Malmö, Sweden three years ago amid a great deal of media attention. Its purpose was to get people talking about the concept of disgust. And in Berlin, there is a similar focus on visitor feedback:
Instead of a ticket, visitors to Berlin are given an incoming air sickness bag. Whether they need it or not depends entirely on their individual thresholds of disgust. People can get very close to objects, photograph them and even smell them, if they dare. For example, one of the things that appears on your nose is the fermented shark from Iceland, which is considered a delicacy there, but reminds those who are not accustomed to the smell of ammonia.
Chinese medicine: baby mice fermented in rice wine
Beauty in the eye of the beholder
Exhibitions are not presented by country, but rather by type of food. Like a “multi-course meal,” says museum director Martin Völker, adding that drinks come first: fruits made from ostrich eggs and Bibergeil, a fragrant fragrant piece from the beaver glands, appear. as an apparatus. Finish up!
Many of the exhibits – grilled pork, a frog smoothie, cutlets made from a cow’s egg, spider cheese – can come as a complete surprise to Central European taste buds. “We are disgusted by things that are foreign to us or very close to us,” nutritionist psychologist Bastienne Neumann told the Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA) news agency on the occasion of the museum’s opening.
People in Europe just would not eat dog meat because we have a connection to dogs, while eating beef is unthinkable for people in India, where cows are considered sacred, she added.
Yuck or yummy
The museum avoids taking a colonialist view of the rest of the world by confronting international exhibitions with equally bizarre European dishes, including foie gras – a delicacy in French cuisine made from abnormally enlarged duck or duck livers – or a German sausage-based dish called “dead grandmother”.
Canned delicacies: Wall of disgust
But exploring and putting into perspective the concept of disgust is not the museum’s only mission: “The term disgust causes something to people,” says Völker, who wants the exhibits to attract attention but also educate visitors on issues that include sustainability and animal welfare. He adds that no animals were killed to realize the exhibition.
“Animal aversion and well-being or animal suffering are linked and exhibitions show how we damage the animal environment for what we want to eat or drink,” according to the museum, which sees itself as an “ecological and intercultural place Learning”.
From Sardinia, but not your usual Italian fare: fermented goat milk in a goat’s stomach
One of the questions raised by the DFM exhibition is what we might want to eat in the future – and how we might want to produce and consume it. After all, many of the food items we consider to be staple products today did not exist in the not too distant past. Therefore, our habits, tastes, preferences and tolerances are likely to change in the future with the advent of new food products.
Perhaps expanding or changing our personal aversion threshold can help us embrace different foods by finding new ways to live more ecologically sustainable lives.
This article has been translated from its German original.