These days we might be more inclined to prepare food items ourselves, but for true food connoisseurs that prefer to do things the traditional way, you may find a walk through Europe’s colorful food past an enjoyable diversion. There are actually many different museums all across Europe dedicated to the love of food in all its different forms. Many countries have a strong historical link with a particular food or food industry, and they embrace that readily. Here are 5 food museums that you’ll want to visit if you find yourself traveling through Europe.
#1 Choco Story, Bruges, Belgium
There are many areas of the world that lay claim to a reputation for making great chocolate, but few have the long history of chocolate-making that the Belgians do. When someone offers you a piece of Belgian chocolate, if you’re a chocolate lover it’s bound to put a smile on your face because of its strong association with quality. It’s no surprise, then, that you can find one of the world’s finest chocolate museums in Bruges, Belgium. This museum has a great website where you can get a preview of what to expect when you do make the journey to Belgium. They’ve done a great job of using their site to entice visitors to make the real trip, and there’s a good chance you’ll be craving a chocolate fix after your visit.
#2 The Cork Butter Museum
The world may associate potatoes and Ireland, but there’s another food product that’s been even more important in the history of Ireland – butter. One of the main centers of Ireland’s butter industry is Cork; it’s there that you’ll find a museum completely dedicated to the history of butter in Ireland. The Cork Butter Museum has an informative website which you can visit to get a sense of what you’ll find when you travel there. They show a short video introduction as well as explanations of the various exhibits. You can even follow the museum on Twitter if you want to keep track of the latest exhibits and events there.
#3 Friet Museum, Belgium
Contrary to popular belief, French fries are not French at all. They were actually a Belgian invention, and that’s where you’ll find one of the world’s only museums dedicated to the history of French fries. In the modern world, fries have become a central part of life, and whether you love them or hate them, there’s no denying this simple fact. The Friet Museum’s website is highly interactive, including a history section, a fun section for kids, and even some fun recipes. They do have a Facebook page, as well, if you’re serious in your love of fries and want to keep track of the latest news relating to the museum.
#4 Gelato Museum in Italy
One of the greatest treats that the Italians have given the world is the Gelato dessert. This delicacy has been sought after in some of the finest restaurants in every corner of the world. It was the Italians that first perfected the process of making Gelato and it’s in Bologna, Italy where you’ll find the authoritative museum on this favorite dessert of both young and old. Their site includes some great pictures and historical background on the origins of Gelato, but it’s mostly just an advertising and informational tool for the museum. Here you’ll find information about museum hours and tours. The museum also offers interactive workshops where visitors get the chance to make their own Gelato.
#5 Dutch Cheese Museum
Holland has been one of the world’s premier makers of cheese for centuries, and that’s created a rich and interesting history tied to the cheese-making industry. The Dutch Cheese Museum is actually a little different from traditional museums. Alkmaar is actually an open air cheese market as well as a museum. If you love cheese, a visit to this market and museum in the Netherlands is a must. On their site you can explore some of the region’s cheese history and take a look at some wonderful pictures that give you a sense of what a visit might be like. Like most food museums in Europe and elsewhere, a virtual visit to their website will probably leave you wanting to visit there in person.