Mutato-Archive: Celebrating the Beauty of Heterogeneous Fruit

SwissMiss pointed me to this gorgeous poster from the Mutato-Archive, a collection of misshapen and irregular fruits, vegetables and roots. With an eye for color and careful selection, Uli Westphal took dozens of photos of gnarly tubers, trident-shaped carrots and Siamese mushrooms. In other words, the set is a stunning display of natural diversity.

Too often, produce is bred to be perfectly uniform, symmetric and well, monotonous. Anything that shows a little too much character is often thrown out at the supermarket. What a shame! At least the EU has finally abandoned a law that bans the sale of irregularly-shaped but still nutritious produce. Maybe it’s not always about looks after all.

Look, it’s Adam’s apple on display!

Which reminds me, right before winter break, I took a quick trip to the Fruit Museum in Turin. The Museo della Frutta was the brainchild of an autistic, erm, highly passionate scientist, Francesco Valletti. The heart of the collection is the hundreds of replicas of apples, pears, plums and other fruits and vegetables. The museum is not large, and encompasses only about two or three rooms, but it is worth a peek if you are in the area.

After you are done checking out the striped pears and enormously fat carrots, you should head across the hall to the Museum of Criminology Anthropology, or around the block to the Museum of Human Anatomy. Yes, that’s right, this building holds not one, but three quirky museums. I found the criminology museum somewhat creepy and/or racist, with the way they depicted physiognomy and eugenics in relation to crime, but maybe I wasn’t understanding all the written displays correctly. My favorite museum of the bunch was the anatomy museum. Don’t forget to check out the display of mutant animal skeletons in the entrance foyer.

All displays are in Italian, so it helps to know some basics. If you go on a Wednesday, the admission is free for all three museums. Otherwise, admission to each museum is €3, or €1,50 for students.

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