Edible Book Festival: Room for Readers, Eaters, and Wit

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Have you ever eaten your words? Not like this, you haven’t.

Surely the wackiest of UT events, the Edible Book Festival brought in avid readers and amateur chefs to bake—and later on, to consume—sweet homages to their favorite books.

The 10th annual event was sponsored by the UT School of Information and held at the Perry-Castañeda Library plaza on Sunday. The guidelines for the entries are that they must be book-related and consumable. Seventeen creations were entered and judged by attendees.

Most entries are humorous takes on favorite books, characters, or authors. One entry, the “Tart of Darkness,” was studded with edible bones to represent the many characters who die in Joseph Conrad’s famous novel.

“It’s really interesting how people will take the themes of books and make edible art out of that,” says Virginia Luehrsen, a doctoral student in the School of Information. “It gives you a window into how they interpret books. Somebody may interpret something with a more serious tone and someone takes a more funny stance.”

The award for wittiest entry was presented to Jenny Rich’s bowl of pretzels, titled “Pride & Pretzel Dish.”

Though the festival is not for profit, proceeds raised by Amy’s Ice Cream went to the Inside Books Project, an Austin nonprofit that donates books to Texas prisoners.

The turnout was higher than expected, with over 100 ballots completed for some entries.

“’Winnie the Poo’ had over 100 votes for the least appetizing,” said Kathryn Kramer, an event chair. “The most appetizing award went to a 9-year-old girl with ‘War and Piece of Cake.’”

The Edible Book Festival is an international event held in dozens of cities since 2000.

“It’s happening around the world always on or around April Fools’ Day because of the ‘punny’ aspect,” said Eric Cartier, a School of Information graduate student. “We’re here to celebrate reading, creativity, and wit.”

Photos by Jeff Heimsath


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