It's a well-kept secret that Americans are junk food aficionados. What with all our time spent in fitness pursuits and our outstanding universal healthcare system, it might come as a shock that some of us sneak the occasional treat. Luckily, for those of us who might not like to taste but still like the scene, this country of health-food nuts and cardio kings does offer a wide variety of museums dedicated to that little-known American art form – the carbohydrate.
From the newly opened Pizza Brain museum in Philadelphia to the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Americans have preserved our carb-laden legacy for time immemorial. Here are five museums serving up eye candy, and in one case, actual candy.
Opened in September 2012, Pizza Brain in Philadelphia is not your average artisanal pizza shop; it's also home to the world's largest collection of pizza memorabilia. "If you think about it," says co-founder Bryan Dwyer, "pizza really is this like life force, the great communicator and equalizer." The inspiration for the shop and museum came from an exhibition of pizza art that Dwyer commissioned two-and-a-half years ago. One chef, a couple investors, a mountain of pizza paraphernalia, and a Guinness World Record later, the shop and museum serve the good people of Philly, who continue to bring in items for display. (The collection now numbers in the thousands.) Dwyer's current favorite: a custom-made wooden toilet seat, painted as a "giant pizza creature" and autographed by the artist. Other items include photos, videos ("Mystic Pizza," anyone?), and a variety of 'za-loving action figures.