If you’ve seen one masterpiece or artifact, you’ve seen them all, right? For a memorable diversion from garden-variety art and history museums, chart your own path and find something truly out of the ordinary with a visit to one of these weird museums whose food-themed collections will stimulate your appetite.
High 5 Bread Town, Malaysia – Delightful in its earnestness, High-5 Bread Town chronicles thousands of years of humankind’s history with the humble loaf of bread. Since it operates from a working bread factory, you also get to see state-of-the-art breadmaking machinery in action by way of an aerial walkway through the facility, but that can’t possibly be as enthralling as passing through the museum’s Time Tunnel, which is billed as being “exhilarating and electrifying.” If time travel has you feeling a bit peckish, stop by the cafe for a spot of toast, cake, or a grilled cheese sandwich. There are several other bread museums around the world, but this one takes the cake for weirdness.
┃Flights to Malaysia
SPAM Museum, Minnesota – Before the negativity of unsolicited emails sullied its name, SPAM was both loved and ridiculed as a mysterious canful of meaty goodness. Hormel Foods has a museum in Austin, Minnesota devoted to its signature product that demystifies this famous mystery meat and sings its praises in a fun, entertaining way. ┃Flights to Minneapolis
Currywurst Museum, Germany – As meat museums go, you won’t find one closer to the action in Berlin than the Deutsches Currywurst Museum, which is a stone’s throw from Checkpoint Charlie. The museum’s amusing interactive exhibits entertain and educate visitors about one of Germany’s favourite sausages, while the sleek, modern design elevates the experience beyond the ordinary. ┃Flights to Berlin
National Mustard Museum, Wisconsin – Enrol in Poupon U and get your mustard on. Proclaiming itself to be America’s Favorite Condiment Museum, it houses the world’s largest collection of mustards and mustard memorabilia. They’re serious about mustard, which makes the lighthearted atmosphere of the museum all the more surprising. And it’s been open for over 25 years, so obviously somebody gets the joke. ┃ Flights to Milwaukee
Big Mac Museum and Restaurant, Pennsylvania – You mightn’t expect to find a museum about a sandwich nestled in the scenic Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania. But there it is in North Huntingdon, where the Big Mac was invented by M.J. Delligatti. Not only can you learn its history and brush up on the sandwich’s famous jingle, the museum is also a fully-functioning McDonald’s restaurant so you can also enjoy a Big Mac once your appetite has been whetted by its backstory. ┃Flights to Pittsburgh
Dutch Cheese Museum, Netherlands – There are lots of gloriously cheesy museums on this list, but this one in Alkmaar is the cheesiest of all. Cheese is the mainstay of the region’s economy and the museum, which occupies the former weighhouse, displays the tools of the trade, as well as garments from each era of cheesemaking history. Alkmaar is also home to a beer museum and an oven museum, but if you don’t make the trip to Alkmaar there is a smaller Cheese Museum in Amsterdam near Anne Frank House. Even closer to home is the tiny Cheese and Agricultural Museum in Ingersoll, Ontario. ┃Flights to the Netherlands
PEI Potato Museum, Prince Edward Island – Our serving of oddball museums wouldn’t be complete without a helping of potatoes and the world has no shortage of museums devoted to the tasty spud, including ones in New Brunswick, Idaho, and Denmark. The largest is in Prince Edward Island where they not only have the world’s largest collection of potato artifacts, but also the Potato Hall of Fame. No visit would be complete without having your photo taken with the Giant Potato. ┃Flights to Charlottetown
CUPNOODLES Museum, Japan – Perhaps you prefer a side of noodles. Yokohama’s CUPNOODLES Museum, also known as the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum, honours the innovative mindset of the inventor of instant ramen noodles. Explore the Instant Ramen History Cube, design your own packaging, or go hands-on and attempt to make ramen from scratch! ┃Flights to Japan
Campbell Collection of Soup Tureens, Delaware – Need something to hold your noodle soup? Check out the motherlode of soup-serving receptacles from 1720 to the present day at the Winterthur museum in Wilmington. The collection was amassed by the Campbell Soup Company and transferred to Winterthur in the 1990s. Remember that the museum is closed on Mondays, or there’ll be no soup for you! ┃Flights to Philadelphia
Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum, Tennessee – Every meal needs seasoning and this museum has over 20,000 sets of salt and pepper shakers to spice up your vacation in the Smoky Mountains. Every shape of shaker imaginable can be seen in the collection – pandas, spacecraft, Elvis, sushi, mythological beasts – you name it, they’ve got it!┃Flights to Knoxville
International Banana Club Museum, California – The road to becoming the best of the bunch of fruit museums is riddled with banana peels, but this one has surpassed all others, including its rival the Washington Banana Museum, to be certified by The Guinness Book of World Records as having the largest collection devoted to a single fruit. The museum is crammed with all things banana, from an 8-foot banana couch to what is purported to be the world’s most famous petrified banana and everything in between. Love bananas? Join the club. ┃Flights to Palm Springs
Chocolate Museum, New Brunswick – There’s no better finish to a great meal than a bit of chocolate and perhaps a nice coffee or glass of liqueur. There are several chocolate museums to choose from but we suggest a visit to St. Stephen, New Brunswick, otherwise known as “Canada’s Chocolate Town.” The Chocolate Museum is housed in the former Ganong factory, and hand-dipped chocolates are still made there to the immense delight of museum visitors. ┃Flights to St. John