Novel idea for food and book afficionados

This cake by Susan Zabowski, based on “The House of Seven Gables,” won best in show at last year’s Richter Edible Book Competition.

Craving more than knowledge at the library?
Richter will host its second annual edible books contest April 1. Contestants can enter their own piece of edible art inspired by literature.
The entries for the contest must be edible and should be based on books or literary works, including but not limited to comic books, book covers, themes and authors.
“It doesn’t have to be a big, complicated thing, it just needs to follow the theme of edible words,” said Cristina Favretto, director of special collections at UM.
The Edible Books Festival is a worldwide event held on the first of April each year since 2000. It was  initiated by Judith A. Hoffberg and Beatrice Coron. Their inspiration for the festival was the birthday of French gastronomer Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, an author in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He was famous for his book, “Physiologie du Goût,” which is described as “a witty meditation on food” by, the festival’s Web site.
Some of UM’s 30 entries last year included “Lord of the Fries”, “Bremen Town Nutrition”, “Big MacBeth” and “Catcher in the Rye” and UM students and faculty alike were involved in the contest.
“I liked the challenge of coming up with a creative and ‘novel,’ excuse the pun, idea,” said UM student Kimberley Macdonald, who competed last year. “I had a great time baking and planning for this with one of my friends. Even living in the dorms, I think that many students could bring even more creativity and wit to the event.”
The photos of the books are shared across the globe on the Internet after the festival for all to see and judge for themselves. “I think UM could become the No. 1 edible book university among all universities,” said Favretto, who is challenging students to enter and compete.
The contest is open to all UM students. Entries must be sent to before Friday. Prizes for the UM contest will be awarded for the “Wittiest Pun,” “Most Book-Alike” and “Best in Show.” After the edible art is created, photographed participants and viewers are encouraged to take a bite out of their favorite piece after the judging occurs.

Corey Fujikawa may be contacted at