Jell-O Gallery Museum
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Must-Visit Food Museums Across America

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The Hershey Story Museum
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Food for Thought

When was the last time you visited a museum with its own collection of Spam? Or perused a gallery dedicated entirely to mustard? During your next road trip, carve out some time for a brief detour to one of these must-visit food museums across America, which range from bastions of vinegar to buildings highlighting the storied past of flour. Hungry afterwards? We have a feeling you might be able to find some quality snacks in the gift shops. 


Related: Circus World and Other Weird Museums Across America and Beyond

National Mustard Museum
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National Mustard Museum

Middleton, Wisconsin


Condiment connoisseurs, this one’s for you: Wisconsin’s National Mustard Museum is an ode to one of sandwich’s most vital condiments. Founded and curated by ultimate mustard fan Barry Levenson, the museum showcases more than 6,000 jars of mustard from 70 countries, including a rare mustard tin from Taste-Rite mustard and the Gibbons Collection of antique mustard pots. On the first Saturday in August, the museum hosts National Mustard Day, a street festival featuring free mustard sampling, hot dogs, entertainment, and more. What about a mayonnaise museum, you might ask? Sorry, you’ll have to go to Tokyo for that one. 


Related: Restaurants That Changed American Dining Forever


Jell-O Gallery Museum
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Jell-O Gallery Museum

LeRoy, New York


When was the last time you had Jell-O? One of America’s most famous desserts, the brightly colored gelatin was first patented in 1845, though it took some time to catch on. Today, you can discover more of Jell-O’s past at the Jell-O Gallery Museum in New York, which displays original advertising, spoons, molds, flavors, recipe books, and other memorabilia.  


Related: 22 Things You Didn't Know About Jell-O


Spam Museum
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Spam Museum

Austin, Minnesota


Love it or hate it, Spam has a deep (and, some would say, treasured) history, and it’s all on display at Minnesota’s Spam Museum. The free attraction offers visitors a self-guided tour through Spam’s past, present, and future, featuring interactive exhibits, photo ops, and plenty of factoids about the iconic food. Discover different varieties of Spam from around the world. 

Idaho Potato Museum
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Idaho Potato Museum

Blackfoot, Idaho


Ah, the humble potato. At the Idaho Potato Museum, the vegetable is given celebrity status while educating visitors about the Idaho potato’s history, development, and importance in the state. Explore exhibits and discover fun facts about potatoes (Did you know the average American eats 24 pounds of potatoes per year?) and head to the Potato Station Cafe for baked potatoes, potato bread, and potato ice cream. 


Related: Fun Day Trips for Families in Every State


Vidalia Onion Museum

Vidalia Onion Museum

Vidalia, Georgia


The Vidalia Onion Museum is dedicated entirely to its namesake vegetable, packing a historical timeline of the specific bulb into a 1,300-square-foot space in Vidalia, Georgia. Visitors to the free museum will learn all about its economic impact and culinary significance, and a living exhibit lets curious guests see the sweet onions growing in an adjacent field. Guided tours are offered, or you can walk yourself through this small but impressive exhibit.  


Pizza Brain: Museum of Pizza Culture
Sabeen Z. / Yelp

Pizza Brain: Museum of Pizza Culture

Philadelphia 


Located within a pizza shop, Pizza Brain: Museum of Pizza Culture is a pint-sized museum dedicated to — what else? — pizza. You’ll find a little bit of everything ’za-related here, including records, toys, books, collectibles, and historical advertising. In 2011, Guinness World Records called the museum "the world's largest collection of pizza-related items.” All that pizza perusing making you hungry? Pick up a slice or a pie at Pizza Brain’s pizzeria, which specializes in thin crust pizza.


Related: Surprising Facts About Pizza, America's Favorite Comfort Food


Mill City Museum
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Mill City Museum

Minneapolis 


For baking aficionados, a trip to Mill City Museum is a must-visit. The site was the world’s largest, most advanced flour mill when it debuted in 1880, catapulting Minneapolis to become the flour milling capital of the world for the next five decades. Located within the Washburn A Mill, a National Historic Landmark, the museum invites visitors to discover old films and photographs of the mill, get hands-on at the Baking Lab, enjoy panoramic views of the city on the observation deck, and stock up on cookbooks, aprons, and other baking memorabilia. 


Related: 78 Weird Tourist Attractions Across America


The Farmers’ Museum
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The Farmers’ Museum

Cooperstown, New York


Take a trip to The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown for a glimpse into how some of our ancestors sourced their own food. One of the main attractions, the Lippitt Farmstead, serves as an operating example of a mid-19th century farm, and highlights the tools and techniques used in cultivating hops, raising young farm animals, and more. 


Related: The 40 Best Places in America to Travel Back in Time


Southern Food & Beverage Museum
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Southern Food & Beverage Museum

New Orleans 


Have an affinity for crab boils, Creole cuisine, and cocktails? The Southern Food & Beverage Museum, which also houses the Museum of the American Cocktail, is a celebration of the South’s food and drink culture, and has evolved from a series of pop-ups to its permanent home at the historic Dryades Market building in New Orleans. Explore exhibits on each of the Southern states, dive into the history of absinthe at La Galerie d'Absinthe, and peruse historical liquor bottles and prohibition propaganda at the Museum of the American Cocktail. For a deeper look, head to the museum’s John & Bonnie Boyd Hospitality & Culinary Library, a research library that houses over 11,000 volumes of culinary books, food and cocktail menus, pamphlets, and more. 


The Hershey Story Museum
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The Hershey Story Museum

Hershey, Pennsylvania


Chocolate fiends would be wise to pay a visit to the town of Hershey, Pennsylvania — yes, that Hershey — where The Hershey Story Museum celebrates one of America’s most recognized chocolate bars. Highlighting the legacy of Hershey’s founder Milton S. Hershey, the museum is also a place to sample flights of drinking chocolate from around the world and experiment with your own sweet creations at the chocolate lab. In need of more chocolate? There are plenty of options on offer, along with jewelry, clothing, and commemorative tins. 


Related: 17 Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Hershey Kisses


Museum display cabinet
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Burnt Food Museum

Arlington, Massachusetts


The tongue-in-cheek Burnt Food Museum is what you get when one woman turns her culinary mishaps into a national treasure. Curator, primary contributor, and Grammy-nominated musician Deborah Henson-Conant launched the museum in the late 1980s after an unfortunate incident burning cider at the stove. Since then, her collection has grown to include exhibits such as a “thrice-baked potato,” burnt waffle, and scorched Hot Pocket, some of which are contributions from the public. While the museum is private, interested patrons can e-mail Henson-Conant with a date, time, and group size for a guided tour.

The International Vinegar Museum
The International Vinegar Museum by Wtshymanski (CC BY)

The International Vinegar Museum

Roslyn, South Dakota


Open June 1 through Labor Day, the International Vinegar Museum is dedicated to all things vinegar, including how the good stuff is made, different varieties of vinegar found throughout the world, and its various uses. The museum, which opened in 1999, offers tours and cooking demonstrations, and even hosts the annual Vinegar Festival, held every third Saturday in June. Take home a bottle of vinegar (or a T-shirt!) as a souvenir, along with a newfound appreciation for the acidic pantry staple. 


Museum of Food & Drink
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Museum of Food & Drink

New York 


What started as a Kickstarter campaign has since grown into a mobile exhibition curated by prominent figures in the food and drink world. Based on the guiding principle that food is culture, the Museum of Food & Drink strives to create an equitable future in the food sphere through exhibits like “Chow: Making the Chinese Restaurant,” and “African/American: Making the Nation’s Table,” curated by Dr. Jessica B. Harris, an expert on food of the African Diaspora. MOFAD also offers educational programs online and events at restaurants and bars across New York City, and even organizes food trips to places like Mexico City and Marseille, France. 


​​Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum
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​​Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum

Puunene, Hawaii


How much do you know about sugar? At the Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum in Maui, you’ll learn everything there is to know about the sugar industry and how it affected Hawaii’s landscape and multiculturalism. Take a tour through The Geography Room, The Founder’s Room, The Immigration Room, The Plantation Life Room, and other exhibits, which feature original artifacts from the 168-year “King Sugar” period.  


Schimpff’s Confectionery
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Schimpff’s Confectionery

Jeffersonville, Indiana


This blink-and-you’ll-miss-it museum is bound to give guests a sugar rush. At Schimpff’s Confectionery, which has been in the Schimpff family since 1891, a tiny candy museum within the store boasts a vast collection of American candy memorabilia, including candy equipment and other sweet artifacts. Free tours of both the candy kitchen and museum are available, so visitors can get a glimpse of Schimpff’s candy making process, like Red Hots being made on antique equipment.


California Citrus State Historic Park
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California Citrus State Historic Park

Riverside, California


Oranges, lemons, and grapefruit — you’ll learn about all of ’em at the California Citrus State Historic Park, an open-air museum dedicated entirely to citrus in Southern California. Take a stroll through a replica of a packing house, learn about the sweet and sour history of how citrus made its way to the West Coast, and discover the impact that two navel orange trees gifted in 1873 had on the Golden State. The museum occasionally offers fruit tastings, and tours are offered on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.


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