It's nearing lunchtime here in the Traveler office, so I'm satisfying my craving for the edible by researching (as we diligent fact-checkers do) food museums. Surprisingly, there are more than I thought there'd be. Take, for example, the International Banana Club and Museum (16367 Main Street, Hesperia, California; +1 760 244 5488). Claiming to be the world's first and largest museum dedicated entirely to the banana (there are others in Washington State and Martinique), this collection of yellow-fruit paraphernalia is home to some 17,000 banana items. The museum has several sections, including the "hard" section, "food, drink, and notions" section, the "soft" section, and the "clothing" section. Don't worry -- the museum is completely kid-friendly ("nothing lude, crude, or lascivious to do with bananas is accepted or displayed in this B.M." it claims). While there, say hello to Ken, the "Top Banana" and Glenn, the "Banana Man."
If fruit isn't your thing (or men in banana costumes...), but Monty Python is, check out the Spam Museum (Austin, Minnesota; 800 LUV SPAM). This 16,500-square-foot museum is dedicated entirely to canned-meat enthusiasts. Why does SPAM (which turns 71 years old this year) deserve its own museum (which, by the way, is free)? According to the website: "SPAM is the cradle of civilization. It is the ultimate culinary perfection. Within these walls, all of life's questions will be deliciously answered." 'Nuff said.
I'm starting to get really hungry, so I'll leave you with this list of food museums in the U.S. after the jump (word of warning: do not peruse on an empty stomach).
NEW World of Coca-Cola (Atlanta, Georgia)
Dr Pepper Museum (Waco, Texas)
Ice Cream Capital of the World (Le Mars, Iowa)
Red Baron Pizza museum (Marshall, Minnesota)
Museum of Beer and Brewing (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
National Apple Museum (Biglerville, Pennsylvania)
The Potato Museum (which, oddly enough, is not in Idaho, but in Albuquerque, New Mexico)
Also check out FoodMuseum.com, which has a great roundup of food museums around the world.
Photo: Spam, Hormel Foods Corporation