Judge A Book By Its Cover.

Every year on or around April 1st there’s the International Edible Book Festival which I only learned about because one was held at the Vanderbilt University Library, which is close to where I work. Here are some of the entries from the event:

A popular theme was The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. There were at least five entries based on it.

There were also some creative interpretations of the theme with items inspired by scenes from well-known books.

Or just loose interpretations.

And a lot of clever puns.

My favorites, though, were the ones that went for the most literal interpretation of the idea, creating works that were as readable as they were eatable.

Those last ones reminded me of a quote from Gargantua & Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais, translated by J.M. Cohen, that I have on the wall behind my monitor at work that always reminds me that you are what you read:

The philosophers, preachers, and doctors of your world feed you with fine words through the ears. Here we literally take our teachings orally, through the mouth. Therefore I do not say to you: Read this chapter, understand this gloss. What I say is: Taste this chapter, swallow this gloss. Once upon a time an ancient prophet of the Jewish nation swallowed a book and became a learned man to the teeth. Now you must immediately drink this, and you’ll be learned to the liver. Here, open your jaws.

That’s a literary equivalent of one spicy meatball.

16 Comments

  1. mydangblog

    These are so creative! I wonder who won? It would be hard to choose!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I should have taken notes on the awards but apparently there were several categories, so there was–fittingly–more than one winner. I find it very difficult to rank books anyway so I’m glad there were multiple awards.

      Reply
  2. Kristine @MumRevised

    That is some kind of talent! And the perfect compliment was not the coffee I craved but the quote. (lame… I know)

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Hey, bad jokes and puns are always the best. And I’m glad I work with some very talented people.

      Reply
  3. Jay

    I’m disgusted by the olive one! C’mon , guys!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      The olive one was one of the few I wouldn’t want to eat but I give them props for a creative pun. If the copy of Oliver Twist hadn’t been there I never would have figured that one out.

      Reply
  4. BarbaraM

    Such imaginations – extremely impressive!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Even the trompe l’oeil ones seemed very imaginative to me–I think it takes a lot of creativity to recreate a book out of cake.

      Reply
  5. Arionis

    Nice entries by some very talented and punny people. Also, I suddenly find myself hungry for foods (not the olives) that my doctor has ordered me to cut back on. Damn it, books!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Swallow a couple of short stories and call me in the morning. And if you want you can focus on the olives if that’ll take away your appetite.

      Reply
  6. Allison

    Madeline is my favorite, but they all bring something to the table. Really fun!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      There were some amazingly clever submissions and I think next year I may have to submit something for next year, if I can figure out a way to put a Yankee pot roast in Camelot.

      Reply
  7. Ann Koplow

    Delicious in all ways and completely baked.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Thank you for this well done comment.

      Reply
  8. Pip

    Reading this I kept saying ‘Oh that’s good’ and on and on, I loved the game of scones especially. Great puns. Love this post and the food is so creative and funny

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Creative food is always a fun thing. Of course no matter what the advantage of creating with food is you can eat your mistakes.

      Reply

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