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It’s bound to happen: You’re at a museum for hours, and hunger strikes. Do you try to suppress the hunger pangs and continue onto the next floor of the exhibit? Or do you cave in to the need for sustenance and leave prematurely?
Fortunately, it’s not always an either-or situation. Food museums around the world are dedicated to showcasing a particular type of dish, and it wouldn’t be a complete experience unless free samples are involved. The following five food museums will leave guests not only full of knowledge, but also tasty treats.
Currywurst MuseumLocated in the heart of Berlin is a museum dedicated to one of Germany’s most popular dishes: currywurst, or steamed and fried pork sausage topped with curry ketchup and typically served with fries.
Every currywurst-related exhibit in this museum, which opened in 2009, was designed to trigger the senses. Visitors can step into a spice chamber equipped with sniffing stations to smell the different spices incorporated into the German dish. Audio stations with ketchup-shaped listening devices constantly play currywurst-themed songs. And, of course, the museum is also equipped with a snack lounge where “currywurst in a cup” is the big hit.
The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are about $12 for adults; $7 for children between the ages of 6 to 13; and free for children under 6.
FrietmuseumContrary to prevalent belief, the origins of the french fry are actually be traced back to Belgium. So, it’s no wonder why the first — and the only — museum dedicated to the guilty pleasure treat is located in the town of Bruges, Belgium. Split into three floors, the museum begins by taking guests on a journey through the history of the potato, which originated in Peru more than 10,000 years ago. The second floor zeroes in on the french fry, exploring different varieties and how to make perfect fries. Finally, guests will have the chance to feast on different fries in the basement, also known as the medieval cellars.
The museum is open seven days a week between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets for adults are about $7, and tickets for children ages 6 to 11 is $5.
Pulmuone Kimchi Field MuseumTucked inside Seoul’s COEX Mall is Pulmuone Kimchi Field Museum. First established in 1986, the museum focuses on everything related to Korea’s signature dish, from its history to the different methods it can be made.
There are three sections that make up this museum: the first highlighting the evolution of kimchi throughout Korea, the second showing how the dish is made and the third explaining how factors such as the weather and geography can affect the kimchi-making process throughout the year.
Best of all, museum-goers can try different varieties of the fermented dish thanks to samples offered throughout the exhibit. Admission costs about $2.50 for adults 20 and over; around $1.75 for youths and teens ages 8 to 19; and about $1 for children 7 and younger. Opening hours are from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesdays through Sundays.
More often than not, food museums highlight the dishes popular within its region, such as this German museum that showcases currywurst (one of the country’s favorite foods). // © 2017 Deutsches Currywurst Museum Berlin
The art of making a perfect french fry is just one exhibit featured in Belgium’s Frietmuseum. // © 2017 Frietmuseum
Kimchi and its many varieties are the focus of the Pulmuone Kimchi Field Museum in Korea. // © 2017 iStock
Visitors at the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum will be able to order bowls of the noodle dish from storefronts made to look like the ones that existed in 1958 Yokohama. // © 2017 iStock
Various southern states in the U.S. have their own section at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. // © 2017 Stephen Binn
Shin-Yokohama Ramen MuseumOpen since 1994, Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum is the world’s first food-themed amusement park. While there is an educational exhibit that displays the history of ramen, the main attraction at this museum is its first floor. Here, visitors feel as if they are walking down a Japanese street in 1958, the year that ramen was invented. The buildings aren’t just facades, either: A total of eight ramen shops call this museum home and feature different variations of the noodle dish. Visitors can enjoy a full meal from one shop, or they might order smaller sample cups to try all of the ramen available, instead.
To get their ramen fix at home, clients can create a customized ramen pack at the souvenir shop. Ramen lovers can visit this museum every day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and the entrance fee is about $1.
Southern Food & Beverage MuseumBuilt by the National Food & Beverage Foundation, New Orleans’ Southern Food & Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to teaching visitors all about Southern cuisine. Exhibits portray Southern food’s key influences, such as Caribbean and African-American cuisine.
The museum is also home to The Museum of the American Cocktail, which explores the history of cocktails and its influence in daily American life.
The $10 admission fee includes entry to both museums. Throughout the week, special demonstrations and tastings — such as how to cook a traditional Creole lunch — are also available for an additional fee.
The museum is open from Wednesday to Monday, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.