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Cheese teeming with squirming maggots, sheep is eye juice and mouse wine: the "Disgusting Food Museum" explores why a dish seems delicious to some, but for others is stomach-churning. On show for three months at an old slaughterhouse in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, the exhibit -- created by Samuel West, who previously served up the Museum of Failure -- promises to shock the senses.


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Disgust is always subjective because it comes with what we grew up with. Its kind of an indoctrination," says museum director Andreas Ahrens.

"If we grew up with something, we dont find it disgusting," he says.

To highlight the point, the exhibition puts foods from around the world on an equal footing, so lobster and foie gras are presented in the same way as chewy kiddie sweets and rabbits heads.

Gastronomic explorers are warned on entry: the exhibit is not for the squeamish. But, conveniently, the entry ticket is -- a sickness bag.

Bag in hand then, visitors venture off on a world tour of specialities, some of which may seem to a Western palate like ingredients in a witchs brew but are considered delicacies.

Disgust is always subjective because it comes with what we grew up with. Its kind of an indoctrination," says museum director Andreas Ahrens.

"If we grew up with something, we dont find it disgusting," he says.

To highlight the point, the exhibition puts foods from around the world on an equal footing, so lobster and foie gras are presented in the same way as chewy kiddie sweets and rabbits heads.

Gastronomic explorers are warned on entry: the exhibit is not for the squeamish. But, conveniently, the entry ticket is -- a sickness bag.

Bag in hand then, visitors venture off on a world tour of specialities, some of which may seem to a Western palate like ingredients in a witchs brew but are considered delicacies.
Many of the dishes are freshly prepared and visitors are encouraged to poke and prod some of them, and of course have a taste -- museum staff make sure nobody leaves without trying at least one item.

The bulls penis -- an aphrodisiac in China -- is a hard one to resist for many curious onlookers.

"If it would be just fake food, or just plastic or things in a can, it wouldnt be as interesting. It wouldnt be as fun," says Ahrens, who happily guides people through the tables of food.

"So its an important part of the experience for the guest."

Some dishes are displayed on a video screen, such as the cobras beating heart, which in Vietnam is savoured together with its blood.

"Thats really what I found most surprising," admits Adam Eliasson, a 24-year-old factory worker.

"Normally Im a pretty picky eater," he muses. "I eat very few things... but here I tasted everything. And I didnt throw up!"

Some dishes however, such as the tortoise soup and bat soup, the sheeps head stew and baby mouse wine remain off limits to even the bravest of visitors.

The food that is fresh, such as the cheese, is kept in the fridge for three or four days before being thrown out.

Once the exhibit ends on 27 January in Sweden, Ahrens and West hope to take the show on the road to other cities in Europe and around the world.

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