Last weekend some friends presented me with a Sweet Sue Canned Whole Chicken, a legendary foodstuff first given prominence by product design enthusiast Paul Lukas in his great zine Beer Frame. I’m proud to have it though I’m concerned that I seem to be growing a collection of similarly unappetizing canned and packaged foods, many with unintentionally puerile labels. They aren’t things I plan to eat until the inevitable world economic collapse, but the frequency with which people have given them recently makes me wonder if some sort of cosmic canary in a coal mine is singing, and if I’d better stash these treats in the bomb shelter, stat.

All of this had me thinking about a story I wrote years ago about the Potted Meat Museum, a flabbergasting collection of canned victuals, including favorites such as Rose Pork Brains with Milk Gravy and Coastwise “naturally organic” Wild Arctic Musk Ox. It’s a private collection housed in the Lakeview apartment of curator and Web designer Holly Gibson, but she was good enough to share her treasures with the world via a very slick Web site which I’ve only just discovered was hijacked by pornographers a few months ago. Potted meat indeed! 

Gibson herself seems to have gone into hiding, but her sister says she’s working on a relaunch. Until she gets it back up enjoy some images from my own meager collection of packaged edible curios.