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10 offbeat food museums

By: Matt Hickman on Jan. 20, 2012, 9:16 a.m.
The Washington Banana Museum

Photo: The Washington Banana Museum

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The Washington Banana Museum

Exalted edible: Potassium-rich tropical fruits
Location: Auburn, Wash.

Not to be confused with California’s International Banana Club Museum is curator Ann Mitchell Lovell’s (take a wild guess what her childhood nickname was) Washington Banana Museum. Although the banana is decidedly not a fruit associated with Washington (or the continental United States, for that matter), the woodsy Seattle suburb of Auburn is home to Lovell’s massive — 4,000 items strong — collection of “artifacts, folk art and other cultural oddities devoted to the world's perfect fruit.” Just think “Twin Peaks” meets Carmen Miranda and you’ve got the general idea. Although the Chiquita-celebrating assortment primarily exists online, selections from the museum can be viewed at Banana Antiques in downtown Auburn.