Wednesday, October 6, 2010

✈Worldwide Wednesdays: Weird but Unique Museums - Part 1

Ok, so we all know there are many great museums all over the world such as The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia; The Vatican Museum in Rome, Vatican City, Italy; The National Gallery of Art (NGA) in Washington DC and so on and so on, just to name a few. But I have NEVER heard of these museums! There were so many that I will have to do them in parts!
International Banana Club Museum, USA

Inside you will find the world's largest collection of banana related items, maintained at the same site in Altadena, CA since 1976, and moved to Hesperia, CA in 2006 and currently moving to Hwy 11 just south of Palm Springs in 2011.

There are 4 sections to the museum:

The "Hard" Section: There are bananas made of brass, glass, lead, wood, plastic, ceramic, cement, soap and gold plated bananas. There are banana pipes, banana trees, pins, charms, belts, magnets, rings, cups, glasses, banana slicers, clocks, musical bananas, banana records, software, knives, and banana lights.
The Food, Drink and Notions Section: Displays all kinds of banana candies from the past 25 years baby foods and juices, banana cereals, all kinds of banana drinks and even banana soda (with and without alcohol), banana tobacco and yes "banana popcorn"! Have you ever seen banana body spray, banana shampoos, banana suntan oils, lipgloss, banana toothbrushes and toothpaste and of course …banana soaps?
The "CLOTHING" section: Include dozens of banana "T" shirts, shorts, pants, hats, and slippers. There are banana P.J.'s, suits, dress banana ties, scarves, towels, banana ears and the banana nose!
The "SOFT" section: starts with the eight-foot yellow banana couch! There are hundreds of soft (plush) bananas on display from two inch to six feet in length. There's a banana tent, banana beach mats, and banana warmers (one from Germany)! There are banupets, banenes and banana banks and floats! People don't believe it until they see it.

Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum (Osaka, Japan)
The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum (インスタントラーメン発明記念館) is a museum dedicated to instant noodles and Cup Noodles, and Taiwanese-Japanese inventor and businessman Momofuku Ando who created them. The museum is located in Ikeda in Osaka, and is located within walking distance of Ikeda Station on the Hankyu-Takarazuka Line. Admission is free. .

The museum has an instant ramen workshop allowing visitors to make their own "fresh" instant noodles (fresh as in just made). There is also a noodle factory where visitors can assemble their own Cup Noodles from pre-made ingredients!

Slip three hundred yen into the vending machine and receive an empty Styrofoam cup. From there you are invited to decorate it, fill it with noodles, pick a powdered broth and four freeze-dried toppings of your fancy (tiny fish cakes shaped like hearts or little yellow chicks are on the menu), and watch as it is sealed, wrapped in cellophane and squeezed into an inflatable carrying case.

Need more noodle? Learn to stretch, knead, cut and finally taste homemade ramen noodles at a hands-on workshop, held on the second floor five days a week. Plus, there's a tasting room open every day, featuring ramen-stocked vending machines and seating, perfect for those emergency Cup Noodle cravings.

Every day millions of people around the world spend their lunch breaks bowed over the iconic styrofoam cup of noodles, most without a clue as to where it came from. But after a visit to the museum you will be a well of Cup Noodle knowledge, wowing these philistines with your instant-ramen expertise.

**Ando developed the instant noodle product, commonly called Ramen, to feed the Japanese people during food shortages after World War II. He then founded the Nissin Food Products Co. in 1948, where he marketed his instant noodles. The product grew from there and has become an essential part of worldwide cuisine. In fact, it is estimated that 85.7 billion Ramen meals are consumed worldwide.

Even though the cheap, easy-to-make packages have become part of the college lexicon, the U.S. only ranks 4th in worldwide consumption.

Ramen, available in 15 flavors from Cajun chicken to Oriental (the only vegetarian option) and picante shrimp, is also popular because of its low cost. Packets are around $0.49 and cups for $0.99 .

Resource: Wikipedia

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