Friday, March 31, 2006

BOOKS: How to Devour a Good Book

Well, the six crackers I ate yesterday conspired to ruin my entire night, but I have emerged the victor. Not only am I feeling much improved, I'm back to write about food. How do you like them apples?

At first I wasn't sure the
Books 2 Eat: The Seventh International Edible Books Festival was for real, since it starts tomorrow, which is of course April 1st. But I checked out the official site (ups to Karen for emailing me the link!) and it looks legit. Woot!

You can't blame me for being a bit suspicious of this event, but in retrospect it really shouldn't have seemed like such a weird idea. You'd think I, of all people, would know what fuh-reaks book lovers are.

The premise of the festival is to celebrate great works of literature and the joy of the written word... in food form. (Take note of the edible dioramic homage to James and the Giant Peach to the right.)

Past entries have included: a likeness
of Francis Bacon constructed entirely of bacon (also pictured right); William Blake's "Memorable Fancies" rendered as gorgeous pastries; and a guacamole book, which -- I won't lie to you -- kind of frightens me. (Go here to see a pretty nifty slideshow of dozens of participating edibles.)

This festival isn't kidding when it calls itself international. It's pretty much the Olympics of edible books, with nations as far-flung as India, Luxembourg, Russia, and Delaware reprazenting.

I got all hopped up when I began scrolling down the impressive list of events happening around the world and spied Canada. I scanned through the small but respectable list (hey, we're only got around 33 million people up here) of Canadian events, which starts on the east coast and moves west. Hey there, Cape Breton! Top o' the morning to you, St. John's. Nice to see you, Montreal. Toronto, always a pleasure. Howdy, Saskatchewan! How's it hanging, British Colu--

Well, dang.

It appears I've discovered yet another cultural weakness of the west coast. And yet I can't say this surprises me, given how few people I know out here who read seriously (and those of you who do read know who you are, god bless you). I know a lot of smart people, mind you, but reading is just not a major topographical element on the cultural map of these parts.

Maybe I'll have to host my own Edible Book Festival event next year. Who's with me?

So I'm already starting to give some thought to how I would create an edible book. Mine would have to be sweet, rather than savoury, because that's just the way I roll (and dude, a GUACAMOLE BOOK? Wrong, wrong, wrong). I thought perhaps a cookie codex. Or maybe a marzipan diorama of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. Or maybe I'd go all pomo and get some candy-filled pens and edible paper and transcribe the entire text of Margaret Atwood's The Edible Woman. Hmmmaybe not. But I've got a year to work on it.

[Candicraft link via Pop Culture Junk Mail]


Carrie K said...

Not to deny the cultural lack on the West Coast, but eating books? That's akin to hollowing them out and making them jewelry boxes or something equally icky.

Mike said...

I've tried and I've tried; I just don't see Francis Bacon in the bacon. But I also could never get those 3D posters to work either.

Tammy said...

I can't get those damn posters to work, either. "Magic eye," my ass. I can't see Francis Bacon in that mess of meat, either... unless historical records are wrong and Francis Bacon looked a lot like the Abominable Snowman.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure it's a pun; it looks kind of like the outline of France, thus "France is Bacon"? Groan.

Anonymous said...

One of the pictures in the slideshow (61) has a lady holding the bacon thing and a map of France, and it is titled France's Bacon. It's her winning entry. Groan, indeed.

N A said...

Bacon is a pleasure.

Em said...

I thought the bacon thing was fairly clever. I'd just be inclined to drop one of those plastic cocktail swords into a milkshake and call it Shake Spear. Minimum effort. Really bad pun. Mix well and serve with the warning that it contains a potential pointy choking hazard.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I... have to say that before I read this post I had truly never given thought to edible books before. Takes all kinds, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

As a Cape Bretoner who is used to being ignored on teh interweb, I was NOT EXPECTING to see "Cape Breton" on my DAHK route today. Crazy.

I need to track down the nutjobs who are here making edible books.