Community, Edge

Edible literary creations to compete in festival

The phrase “eat your words” will take on a new meaning when classic novels are brought to life in a format made of entirely edible ingredients.

The 15th annual Edible Book Festival, which celebrates the intellectually nourishing power of books by turning them into edible art, will take place from noon to 2:30 p.m. April 1 at the Otto G. Richter Library.

Celebrated since 2000 in various parts of the world, the festival involves the creation, display and eating of edible books. It generally falls on or around April 1, partly a nod to the April Fools’ tradition of “eating your words,” according to the official website.

“Edible Books allows the library to have a fun, book-themed festival to share with the entire campus,” said Lauren Fralinger, education and outreach librarian at Richter.

Since the first festival in 2010, this will be the fourth time Richter Library hosts the event.

“Each year, we’ve received dozens of entries by students, faculty and staff across campus,” Fralinger said. “This year will be much the same – students are highly encouraged to stop by the library, enjoy the entries and vote for their favorites – and of course, they’re welcome to submit entries themselves.”

Those who wish to participate must register by Wednesday by going to the Edible Book Festival event page located on the Richter Library website.

Terri Robar, head of the Edible Book Festival committee this year, said that the festival is about imagination and ingenuity, not professional baking skills.

“Many of our past entries, including prize winners, required no cooking at all,” Robar said. “A person who does not have access to a regular kitchen cannot only enter, but has an excellent chance of winning a prize.”

Awards for select submissions will be given for four categories: wittiest, most edible, healthiest and best in show.

Entries into the festival must meet certain requirements. They must be edible and inspired by a book. The entries should hold their shape while on display, which will be for about two and a half hours without refrigeration. Entries must be delivered by 11:30 a.m. April 1 to Richter Library. Participants are welcome to display their book inspiration alongside the entry.

Fralinger notes there have been some “truly incredible” edible books in the past. She recalled a past submission based on the novel “All Creatures Great and Small” that was particularly complex and featured an animal-shaped cake, as well as animal-themed cupcakes.

Other entries, like those going for the wittiest award, are meant to poke fun at the books in some way, usually making a pun out of the book’s title.

“One great entry was based on Chuck Palahniuk’s novel ‘Fight Club,’ and the entry consisted of small sandwiches with bites taken out – the entry was titled ‘Bite Club,’” Fralinger said.

For more information, and to see examples of past entries, visit the library’s website at library.miami.edu.

Featured image courtesy Stewart Butterfield via Flickr. 

March 24, 2015

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Haynes Stephens


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