Museum of Food & Drink - New York, NY
Sick of the crowds at the Met and looking for a new museum to visit in NYC? Looking for an exhibit with free food samples? Then you should definitely consider a visit to Brooklyn's Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD). This nonprofit's goal is to "encourage an appreciation of culinary history and anthropology". Its exhibits change throughout the year, so be sure to keep an eye out for what's coming here.
Running from December through April is "Chow - Making the Chinese Restaurant". This exhibit celebrates the journey of Chinese food to America, highlighting local China Town communities around the country.
Chinese food has been a staple in my diet for my entire life. I'm not kidding when I say I can sing the little chime from my mom's rice cooker. So I was very curious to read about how Chinese food found its place in American cuisine.
The museum has dozens of menus from around the country that date back to 1907! Chop suey for $0.20, chowmein for $0.40... those were the days. And yes, there is a nod to P.F. Chang's here!
The true highlight of "Chow" is the fortune cookie machine. In the below photo, you'll see a metal tray with little colorful bits of paper all lined up. That blue tube gently sucks the strip of paper to place into the warm, pliable cookie. Then they come out single file, and fall down the chute.
And into our open hands!
Luckily for us, the museum was relatively empty on this day. We were able to ask questions and stuff ourselves with samples! Huge thanks to the kind staff of volunteers.
A sweet little feature is the chance to submit a fortune for the next round of visitors to enjoy. You just type it on an iPad and the slip prints out. The staff then collects them all to use in the next batch.
The last stop is the Chow Culinary Studio!
Each month a new chef is allowed to come and prepare their best Chinese dish for patrons. We had the pleasure of tasting Chef Jeremiah Stone's "Tofu with Crab Sauce".
I've never been a big fan of tofu (sorry Dad), and sadly this wasn't an exception. It's just a texture thing for me, guys! But I'm sure you tofu-lovers out there would've loved it. If it counts, the rice and bok choy were fantastic!
April is the last month to check out this exhibit, so be sure to drop by for a treat from a top Chinese American chef.
On your way out, be sure to stuff a box full of FREE fortune cookies! Seriously! How cool is this place?
What are some of your favorite museums in the city? I still haven't made it to the Whitney or the MoMA (I know). Where else should I explore?