Sweets: tastes and traditions from many cultures

Past Event: 15 March 2012 to 2 June 2013

A plate of Indian sweets
A plate of Indian sweets

Discover the delicious ways in which Victorian communities use sweet foods in their cultures.

Explore the history and cultural significance of sweet foods and find out how sweetness is important to everyone. Different cultures use sweets for many reasons and purposes – to mark important rituals, celebrations and life events. Discover special sweet foods from each of the Indian, Italian, Japanese, Mauritian and Turkish cultures, the ways in which many of them are made and the significance they hold.

Featuring fascinating objects, lively photographs and multimedia, the Sweets exhibition will reveal unique perspectives on a very common and popular food.

Comments (34)

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Olivia 3 February, 2012 10:06
This exhibion looks exciting, I cannot wait to visit.
Colleen 18 February, 2012 10:18
We love visiting the Immigration Museum and this exhibition looks fascinating ... or should that be delectable.
Carolyne 22 February, 2012 21:32
Willy Wonka eat your heart out! Sugar swoon.
David B 10 March, 2012 12:20
Hallo. so many desserts, so little time. I would like to eat my way around the globe for dessert. this brings my dream one step closer. do you have any give away passes to help? xxd.
Discovery Centre 13 March, 2012 11:52
Hi David, the Sweets Festival and Exhibition is $10 for adults and free for children and concession card holders.  There will be an opportunity for you to see how five different Victoria cultures use sweet food and drink in their cultures.  And, there will be stalls on the day selling various sweet, and savoury, food stuffs for you to enjoy!
anita 13 March, 2012 13:11
hi there, this looks great, when does this finish...im in melb at easter
Discovery Centre 14 March, 2012 12:38
Hi Anita, the exhibition will be showing at the Immigration Museum until April 2013, so you will have plenty of time to see it!
Esme GILBEE 14 March, 2012 08:35
A new and comelling way to look at other cultures
Dorothy F 14 March, 2012 15:01
Flying down to Melbourne tomorrow. Will try to visit this exhibition as the topic interests me
Jordan 14 March, 2012 16:03
Great that this falls between business hours...come on guys!!!
Discovery Centre 14 March, 2012 16:11

Hi Jordan,

We're open weekends too!

Stan & Rita Bonnici 20 March, 2012 11:02
Thanks to those who organized Sweets exhibition. fantastic! Well done. We had an extremely enjoyable time and then visited the rest of the museum.
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Jacqueline Celestin Corentin 24 March, 2012 19:19
I was so delighted to have the opportunity to demonstrate how to prepare "Halwa" the Mauritian way. It was also interesting to watch the 2 beautiful ladies from India and Turkey demonstrating to us how to make Halva, It was truly a memorable day thank you to the organizers to bring back memories about the sweets from other countries. Well done Regards and blessings. Jacqueline Celestin Corentin Authorized Civil Celebrant A13727
Nyss 26 March, 2012 13:58
Hello, Previously I thought I read that this exhib was only until April '2012' but in the comment above to Anita it says '2013'. Just wanted to check it was 2013 as we're still very keen to see it. Thanks very much :)
Discovery Centre 26 March, 2012 14:31
Hi Nyss, The comment above is correct - this mouth-watering exhibition will be open until April 2013.
Nyss 26 March, 2012 14:53
Brilliant :D thanks so much for the quick response
Alice 27 March, 2012 10:16
This looks great! I may ask a group I work with who are newly arrived students if they would like to visit. Are there any free food tastings or does all food have to be purchased?
Discovery Centre 27 March, 2012 12:26

Hi Alice,

Unfortunately, free tastings are not part of the exhibition and sweets from the different cultures are not available for purchase at this point. Our shop is looking at buying some to sell in the future, but we're not sure when they will be available. If and when they do, we’ll let you know!

Kenneth 30 March, 2012 12:39
WOW, this surely attractive. Will come in and take a look. Hope there are plenty to sweet from!
imogen 30 March, 2012 21:27
Are there sweets for sale all the time, or did you have one special day where there were sweets? I don't think I would drag my two children all the way to the city if there was no opportunity to try. (I'd happily pay for a plate that allowed you to sample each culture's sweets)
Trevor White 14 May, 2012 12:51
In Samuel .P. Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” he concludes with a pertinent question. Question: How can one chart the ups and downs of Humanity’s development of civilisation? Answer: Cultural food and the Curation of the Global, National and regional Culinary Arts best regards Trevor White Les Toques Blanches Australia Vice President Associate Members & Sponsorships Australia
Alysha 25 May, 2012 19:02
I am a yr 12 rural student who is completing foods and was just wondering if i could ask you (immigration museum) a couple of questions as my theme for my folio is quite similar to this exhibition? :) if you could that would be great thankyou!
Discovery Centre 28 May, 2012 10:33

Hi Alysha,

We would be more than happy to answer some questions. Please send them through to us at; discoverycentre@museum.vic.gov.au. Thanks!

lochie 13 July, 2012 15:22
hi my name is lochie I am 7 years old.I thought the exhibition was really good
Katherine Judge 19 July, 2012 16:48
I loved the videos! It was lovely to sit and learn about the processes behind what unites us all...food.
Maria Garland 18 September, 2012 09:52
Just want to explore possibility for our Slovak community group to do the one day demonstration of how we make and decorate our traditional Honey biscuits at your exhibition? (the biscuits were and still are our traditional christmas treat and were used in the past as chritmas tree decorations and christmas gifts). Thank you Maria
Discovery Centre 18 September, 2012 10:14
Hi Maria, I have forwarded the details of your kind offer to the Community Exhibitions Manager, and someone will contact you shortly.
dan 6 January, 2013 12:20
The sweets are the best from around the world! Who knew how many different ways chocolate can be used!:D
Gen 28 January, 2013 16:01
Hi, I want to know how to apply for a community Gallery Exhibiton? This is a homework given to us by our school, so I hope you could give me details on how? Thank you! :)
Lisa Forsyth 4 March, 2013 16:29
You need to update your info Discovery centre as it says until 2nd of June at the top of this page. Unless it is until 2nd of June and the previous comments are out of date?
Discovery Centre 4 March, 2013 16:41
Hi Lisa - thanks for your comment, the Sweets exhibition initially was expected to finish at the Immigration Museum in April, but has now been extended until Jun 2013, hence the conflicting information. The current closing dates are prominent on the site above as you point out. Thanks again.
mycitymelbourne.net 17 May, 2013 20:29
Had a great time at the museum a few weekends ago. As I wrote on my blog post, I feel like its real attraction is in the way the museum is able to tell stories. Thanks Vic Museums
Alex 27 May, 2013 20:31
Hi! My husband and I came for a visit yesterday and love your Museum! We would like to buy the book about Italian bread you have at the 'Sweets' exhibition, but have forgotten its title! We were wondering if you could help us please? Thank you!
Discovery Centre 29 May, 2013 16:07

Hi Alex,

Glad you enjoyed the Museum! There were three Italian cookbooks on display in the Sweets exhibition so I have listed the details of each of them below - hopefully one of them is the one you're after!

Dolci - Italy's Sweets, Francine Segan

Warmbread and honey cake, Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra

The Italian Baker, Carol Field