6 Great Food Museums: Food as Art, Or Not
Guzzle & Nosh Gelato at Gelato Bar
Last week, the Carpigiani Gelato Museum opened in Anzola dell'Emilia, Italy, just outside Bologna; the first in the world, it says, to "delve into the history, culture, and technology of artisan gelato." Inside, you'll learn about the history of the frozen treat, from an 11th century recipe for pomegranate sorbet to a collection of gelato machines. We don't know if the museum also pays tribute to the role of gelato on the liberated woman's journey to self-discovery, but we certainly hope so.
Gelato is the subject of just one of many, many museums dedicated to the food we eat (or, sometimes, don't). Turn the page for a few amusing, sometimes amusingly serious, museums of food.
Anne Fishbein Pizza from Pizzanista
6. Pizza Brain in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:
Last month, the world's first pizza museum opened in Philadelphia, a Kickstarter project-turned-reality complete with the "world's largest" collection of pizza-related memorabilia. After a requisite run up the Rocky Steps, then, you can drop into the museum and check out slices of pizza history, including the soundtrack from that other Julia Roberts classic, Mystic Pizza. Next door, an "artisan pizzeria" offers pies with various toppings.
5. Kool-Aid Exhibit in Hastings, Nebraska:
At the Hastings Museum's Kool-Aid exhibit, you'll learn all about the official soft drink of Nebraska: Namely, that it was invented in Hastings in 1927 by one Edwin Perkins (a relentless inventor, he also invented "Nix-O-Tine" to help smokers stop smoking). According to the museum, Perkins "had a dream to become a self-employed business success -- and he discovered his dream through hard work and a little ingenious marketing." The exhibit is aptly titled "Discover the Dream" and features "the original Kool-Aid Man costume worn in the television commercials" for those fascinated, as opposed to frightened, by an oversized glass pitcher with a smug mug. After you have discovered the dream, you'll probably have some time to explore other installations in the museum: Rocks, Minerals and Fossils, perhaps, or People on the Plains.
[puamelia]/Flickr Cup Noodles
4. Cup Noodles Museum in Yokohama, Japan:
Because every food museum ought to have some sort of theme, the Cup Noodles Museum focuses on "Creative thinking." That would be in reference to the "creative thinking" -- and lack of sleep -- that led Momofuku Ando to invent the world's first instant ramen: "In a little shed behind his home in the town of Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture, Momofuku started work on a invention for quickly making ramen at home by just adding hot water. He worked alone, sleeping only four hours a night and without a day off for an entire year." After going to the United States and observing "supermarket managers breaking up Chicken Ramen noodles, putting them in a cup, pouring in hot water, and then eating them with a fork," Ando created Cup Noodles. At the museum, you'll find all sorts of fun exhibits, including a "faithful recreation" of Ando's work shed and a Chicken Noodle Factory where you can make your own ramen.