Tastes like Heaven, smells like Hell.
That’s right, it is none other than the highly revered durian. Crowned the king of fruits, the durian is one that many of us share a love-hate relationship with. Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that the fact that it is the most prominent fruit here in Singapore.
There are actually two seasons in Singapore: durian season and non-durian season. Yah, that’s how much the thorny fruit means to us,
This is why, as a typical Singaporean who would devour the fruit at any time of the day, rain or shine, I (and everyone in the office, no doubt) was in utter shock when I found out that the durian is named one of the 80 grossest items at Sweden’s Disgusting Food Museum.
Excuse you, IKEA. Why you like that?
On 31 October, the Disgusting Food Museum in Malmo opened its doors to people from all over the world. The museum places the spotlight on divisive food items that people either love or hate.
To add insult to injury, guess what dishes the durian was placed alongside with?
Feast your eyes on this jar of goodness—mouse wine.
Found some mice in the longkang? It’s your lucky day! Just marinate them in some age-old rice wine and voila! You have some delectable mouse wine. Don’t forget to bring out the cheese too, for a classy wine and cheese party.
No, honestly: How can you compare mouse with durian?!
If that’s not insulting enough, read on.
The Disgusting Food Museum also features the Sardinian sheep milk cheese that contains precious live maggots.
Imagine that deliciousness just sliding down your throat, mmmhmmm. Oh, you can bring out the mouse wine for a perfect pairing too.
Well, it’s not over. Because in order to make durian sound even more bad-ass, here’s one that stands side-by-side with the king of fruits.
A bull’s…erm, you get the gist.
But jokes (and anger) aside, the Disgusting Food Museum is thought-provoking.
Firstly, it highlights the function of disgust which is to shield us from food that might be contaminated. Secondly, it strives to “challenge perceptions of taste” and “help visitors contemplate why one’s culture abomination is another’s delicacy”.
The curator, Samuel West, argues that the present meat production is “horribly environmentally unsustainable”. By questioning notions of disgust, West is opening up to the new future of food, “which many believe is insects and lab-grown meats”.
Ew. But why durian?!
You know the museum is going to great lengths when its entry tickets are printed on vomit bags. Feeling queasy? No worries, just puke to your heart’s content in the bags prepared for you.
I’m still harping on the fact that the durian is even placed in the Disgusting Food Museum. I mean, come on, with items like dead mouses and live maggots, I say the durian is off the list.
You can check out the museum here. Don’t say I never warn, prep your own vomit bag.
Not for the durian, of course.
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