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By Vanessa Greaves
August 19, 2015
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The next time you scorch a recipe beyond recognition or repair, turn that mess into a masterpiece with the help of the Burnt Food Museum.

Burnt Toast in Picture Frame
Photo by Vanessa Greaves

Founded by Grammy-nominated musician Deborah Henson-Conant, the BFM celebrates rather than shames your culinary missteps.

Henson-Conant's own artistic epiphany came when a phone call distracted her while she was heating a pot of apple cider. By the time she eventually returned to her kitchen, the cider had burnt into a cinder.

Free-Standing Hot Apple Cider
via Burnt Food Museum

Visionary that she is, Henson-Conant saw this as an opportunity to explore the qualities that make us human: well-meaning but prone to frailty.

To paraphrase Alexander Pope, "To err is human; to turn burnt cider into art, awesome."

Hash Blacks
via Burnt Food Museum

Check out a sample of the exhibits on display at the museum's Arlington, Massachusetts location, including this tragically toasted tortilla.

Tortilla
via Burnt Food Museum

Says the submitter, "I am from California. My fiancé Jonathan, is not. That is why I am able to heat tortillas on an open gas flame. This is his attempt to overcome an East Coast heritage."

But why stand on the sidelines as a mere observer when you, too, can practice the art of the curated char?

As Henson-Conant suggests, "Set aside a special shelf in your own kitchen for those surprising and wonderful objects of art that YOU created without even trying."

Or, you can submit your burnt offerings to the Burnt Food Museum Facebook page.

Flame on!