The race to become America’s preeminent food museum is not only on, it’s escalating.
Though the US is full of museums dedicated to regional cuisines or individual food items, our country apparently has (or actually “had”) no museum dedicated to all food stuffs and history in general. This fact obviously wasn’t lost on a number of museum lovers because recently two high-profile groups have emerged to attempt to rectify the situation: Chicago’s Foodseum and New York’s Museum of Food and Drink, also known as MOFAD.
When word first began to spread of both ideas, the projection was that neither museum would open for at least a couple years. But possibly because of increased publicity (and maybe even the pressure of competition), both museums have landed in temporary homes.
Back in August, the Foodseum announced it had found a rental on the second floor of a Chicago shopping mall where, on September 19th, it will debut its first exhibition, “The Hot Dog and Encased Meats of the World.”
Not to be outdone, this month, MOFAD has announced they’ve landed a space in Brooklyn for their first brick and mortar exhibition hall. That “mini-museum,” as they’re calling it, will open on October 28th with a theme described by NPR as examining the “modern business of manufacturing smell and taste.”
Alas, both museums are nothing more than a taste (ahem). The next battle will be to see who can go full smorgasbord with their final permanent building. Foodseum is targeting a 2017 launch date, while MOFAD is staying more cautious, angling for a 2019 opening.
However, as much fun as it is to compare the two projects, it probably doesn’t matter who beats who to doing what. If America has room for 14,000 McDonald’s and 7,000 Burger kings, I think we can handle having two food museums.