American Museum of Natural History Exhibit: Our Global Kitchen

March 28, 2013 By: Serena

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I’m baaaaack!  Hello, Noshers!  Did you miss me? :)  I missed you!  My schedule has been absolutely CRAZY lately – including super delicious (and busy) trips to Charleston and London!  I was super excited because it was my first visit to either of those cities.  I can’t wait to share some of the delicious nosh I had on my trips with all of you, so stay tuned!  But first, I’m excited to tell you about my recent visit to the Our Global Kitchen exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History.  The AMNH is one of my favorite museums in NYC, and an exhibit all about food? Count me in!

Not your ordinary museum exhibit, Our Global Kitchen explored the science, culture, politics and past, current and future happenings of food.  At the very start of the exhibit, an introductory film played on loop and of course I had to stop and watch – mostly to watch the film but partly to sit on these chairs:

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I mean, come on. Cuteness overload, right?

I really enjoyed the exhibits of unique (whether by nature or by design) produce – such as these square watermelons! I guess they are easier for stacking:

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I’d probably be at the lower end of this chili scale – though I can take the heat, the very hottest chilies are not to be messed around with!

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Did you know there were so many different varieties of potatoes?  And such diverse-looking ones at that:

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If you like cassava, you’ll appreciate this giant one.

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Growing up in a family of scientists, it was super-interesting to learn about techniques (some new, some ancient!) to grow more and better-quality food with fewer resources and less land.

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What do you think of this setup?

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If you’ve seen wild strawberries before, you know they are super teeny tiny!  They’ve been cultivated to be the sweeter, golf ball-sized fruit that we see today.

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I loved learning more about microbes, which help perfect some of the most beloved foods, such as cheese and bread. Yum!

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No food technology section would be complete without a section on hydroponics, of course:

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In addition to looking into the future of food, the exhibit also took visitors back – for example, check out this extensive mock-up of an ancient market:

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Or, would you like to dine on figs and olives?

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Within the Science in the Kitchen area, there were samples of cheese available – I forget the name of the sample of the day but it was reminiscent of a very aged Gouda, similar to one of my faves – Roomano. Crystalline with hints of caramel. Divine!

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A little quiz to keep those cogs in the brain turning:

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And some fun facts on why we prefer sugary foods, how taste preferences change from childhood to adulthood, and even how some preferences are learned versus ingrained:

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Have you ever wanted to know how to make kimchi? Well, there’s a display for that:

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I especially loved this spread of cookbooks from around the world and from years past – some of my favorites included The Astrological Cookbook, The Working Wives (Salaried and Otherwise) Cookbook, and of course – The Joys of Jello.

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And check out this display of eating and cooking utensils – What do you think that big fan-looking one is for?

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And finally, this sobering display of how much food actually goes to waste ever year – it does add up, and this definitely made me more conscious of really trying not to let food go to waste.

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Overall, Our Global Kitchen was truly a fascinating, informative and eye-opening exhibit that would appeal to anyone.  The exhibit will be open at the AMNH until August 11 of this year, so be sure to check it out.  And when you do, let me know what you think!

If you could have a meal from any time period, what meal would it be?

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2 Comments to “American Museum of Natural History Exhibit: Our Global Kitchen”


  1. what a cool exhibit!

    1
  2. What a cool exhibit!!!

    2


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