New York plans to open the intellectual Museum of Food and Drink by 2019 while Chicago rushes to beat them with their own hot-dog filled foodseum by 2019, responding to the growing national interest to understand what we eat.
Hardly unique, DC residents already can find area museums to feed their curiosity. When stuffed from testing new cuisines in the local restaurant scene, or tired from the beaten tourist trail while hosting out-of-town guests, check out these local exhibitions fit for foodies:
Smithsonian Museum of American History: Julia Child's well-stocked home kitchen may be mecca for aspiring star chefs, but FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000 offers much more. From a wasteful baby carrot slicing machine to an oversized, obsolete microwave, the permanent exhibition explores some major food innovations and influences in postwar American. 14th St and Constitution Ave, NW. Hours.
National Air and Space Museum: Wondering how Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin cooked on Apollo 11? Check out food fit for astronauts like dehydrated beef hash brick, packaged pineapple fruitcake, irradiated ham and other delicacies. No trip would be complete without purchasing a package of dehydrated ice cream, even if you never eat it. 600 Independence Ave SW. Hours.
Heurich House Museum: Before DC Brau, Christian Heurich owned the city's only brewery where the Kennedy Center now stands. Visit the brewmaster's castle in Dupont, which many Washingtonians walk by but few step inside, for a tour including the history of DC hops. 307 New Hampshire Ave NW. Hours (reservations recommended).
National Geographic Museum: Celebrate the world of food through this temporary exhibition FOOD: Our Global Kitchen, open until late February. Inside find a hydroponic garden, square Japanese watermelons, visit an Aztec market and consider the global food waste problem. Daily Whole Foods Test Kitchen also samples up rotating themed demonstrations, from global holiday meals to February chocolate. 145 17th St NW. Hours.
Editor's Note: The author is a researcher for National Geographic's Travel publication.