Books 2 Eat

by Lara Killian

6 April 2009


Believe it or not, every year for almost the last decade, a global celebration of eating your words has been taking place right around April Fool’s Day.

The International Edible Book Festival has been happening annually since 2000, the brainchild of Judith A. Hoffberg and Béatrice Coron. The organizers don’t care where you celebrate or how you choose to eat your words, but they do ask that participants take photographic evidence and submit it to the website for the benefit of posterity.

The website explains the rationale behind the event (in both English and French):

April 1st is the birthday of French gastronome Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826), famous for his book Physiologie du goût, a witty meditation on food. [...] This festival is a celebration of the ingestion of culture and a way to concretely share a book; it is also a deeper reflexion on our attachment to food and our cultural differences.

From cakes decorated like Victorian hardcovers with intricate iced lettering, to a plate of cold cuts folded like pages and labelled “One Man’s Meat” in mustard, last year’s entrants put on a good show. This year I like the ‘illuminated booklava,’ with its convincing phyllo pastry ‘vellum’ and ‘Breakfast of Champions,’ a book created from eggs fried as thinly as possible, layered together and ‘bound’ with strips of ‘bacon.’ A combination of books and food – completely consumable.

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