Lavazza's New Coffee Museum Is Yet Another Reason to Visit Italy

Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images
Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images

Italy may be famous for its food, but no good Italian meal is complete without an after-dinner espresso. So while you’re eating your way through Italy, make time to stop at the new Museo Lavazza. As Travel + Leisure reports, the famous coffee company just opened up a new museum at its headquarters in Turin, offering a caffeinated tour through all things coffee.

The museum is part of a new corporate campus called Nuvola Lavazza, or “Lavazza Cloud,” which includes the company’s offices, an open piazza, and two restaurants. Designed by Ralph Appelbaum Associates, a major museum design firm known for its work on the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C., the museum experience is an interactive tour through coffee’s past, present, and future.

Photographs and art on display at the Lavazza museum
© Andrea Guermani

The tour includes an interactive Lavazza coffee cup that visitors can use to save information they see in different exhibits. They can set it down at certain points throughout the museum to activate installations, save information about their visit, and share digital displays on social media. (You can see one of the cup-activated installations in this video.)

A man and a young woman examine a museum installation
Ralph Appelbaum uses the interactive coffee cup to activate an installation

The exhibits cover everything from Lavazza’s founding story to its advertising through the years to the history of espresso machines (like the one Lavazza developed for International Space Station astronauts) to the basic science of coffee. According to Travel + Leisure, the company has an archive of 8500 or so documents related to coffee history, so there’s plenty to draw upon for new exhibits in the future. Naturally, the tour ends with a drink. You get a free classic coffee and a taste of something that’s a more creative take on the coffee theme, like a coffee cocktail.

Visitors look down at an interactive museum table in a dark room

An exhibit in the 'factory' section of the museum
© Andrea Guermani

Italian coffee culture is notoriously full of rituals and rules that aren’t always apparent to foreigners—one never drinks a milky coffee after breakfast, for instance—so while you’re visiting Italy, put down your pasta fork for a moment and get yourself a quick coffee education.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

All images courtesy Lavazza unless otherwise noted

Oscar Mayer Is Renting Out the Wienermobile on Airbnb For Overnight Stays

Airbnb
Airbnb

Oscar Mayer is about to make all of your hot dog dreams come true. To celebrate National Hot Dog Day (today), the meat-industry titan has listed its legendary Wienermobile on Airbnb for overnight stays. Mark your calendars for July 24, when reservation opportunities will go live throughout the day, with prices starting at $136 per night.

Oscar Mayer Wienermobile on Airbnb
Airbnb

The 27-foot-long locomotive hot dog, parked in Chicago, can accommodate two people and includes a sofa bed, sitting area, and outdoor space with a bathroom and “hot dog picnic zone” where you can lounge in Adirondack chairs while enjoying a savory snack. The 'mobile will also be packed with all the hot dog amenities you didn’t know you needed: Highlights include a mini fridge stocked with hot dogs and Chicago-style fixings, a custom Wienermobile art piece by Chicago artist Laura Kiro, and an Oscar Mayer roller grill that you get to keep forever. And that’s not the only souvenir: each guest will also receive a welcome kit with as-yet-unidentified “hot dog-inspired accessories.”

Other features include air conditioning, free parking, breakfast, a hair dryer, and the essentials: towels, bed sheets, soap, shampoo, and toilet paper.

Interior of Wienermobile on Airbnb
Airbnb

Interior of Wienermobile on Airbnb
Airbnb

The booking dates overlap with Chicago’s famed Grant Park music festival Lollapalooza, which takes place from August 1 through 4. The lineup this year includes Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, The Strokes, and Kacey Musgraves, to name a few. What better way to stay nourished and well-rested after a musical marathon than in a cozy, oblong automobile filled with meat?

If you can't book a Wienermobile getaway, you can still celebrate July as National Hot Dog Month by hosting your own hot dog picnic wherever you are (just make sure you know the proper way to plate, dress, serve, and chow down on a plate full of frankfurters).

Check out the full listing on Airbnb.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

Why Are There 10 Hot Dogs to a Pack But Only 8 Buns?

tacar/iStock via Getty Images
tacar/iStock via Getty Images

Watching competitive eating champion Joey Chestnut cram dozens of hot dogs down his throat would make anyone crave a grilled log of processed meat this summer. But shopping for hot dogs can be a confusing experience. The dogs are typically sold in packs of 10, but the buns are sold in packs of eight. What's behind this strange dog and bun inequality?

According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council—yes, there is a National Hot Dog and Sausage Council—there’s a good reason for the discrepancy. For starters, distributors of hot dogs are almost always different from manufacturers of baked goods like rolls. The hot dogs are sold in packs of 10 because producers of meat (or meat-like) products selected that quantity when hot dogs started to sell at retail grocery stores in the 1940s. Oscar Mayer, which led the charge into direct-to-consumer hot dog packaging, sold hot dogs by the pound in accordance with how meat is typically priced. Having 10 dogs that weighed 1.6 ounces each seemed like the ideal distribution of weight.

Bakeries, meanwhile, have standards of their own. Buns and sandwich rolls are usually sold eight to a pack because the baking trays for the elongated buns are typically sized to fit that number. Two sets of four buns come off the tray, which is the reason why buns are often still attached to one another when you open a bag.

These standards were created independently of one another: Bakeries weren’t too preoccupied with hot dogs when they were settling on a four-roll tray standard, and hot dog manufacturers weren’t thinking about how difficult it would be for bakeries to break from their conveyor system to offer 10 buns to a pack.

It can be frustrating if you buy just one or two packages of each, but if you’re hosting a big enough party, the uneven number doesn’t matter. You just need to buy five packages of buns and four packages of hot dogs to have 40 matching pairs. No complicated calculations required.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER