Let Them Eat Their Books…


Following on the heels of our Cake Lab, last Sunday I wandered over to the International Edible Book Show and Tea sponsored by the The Book Arts League of Boulder.


The Eat Your Words press release explains their mission this way – "The International Edible Book Festival began in 1999 as a Thanksgiving Day joke among a group of artists, and it has become an international event in over 23 countries and 18 states nationally, including Boulder. This ephemeral global banquet, also shared on the internet, allows everyone to discover unique bookish nourishments. It is a celebration of the ingestion of culture and a way to concretely share a book; it is also a deeper reflection on our attachment to food."

You can see an album of other participants here and learn more about participating communities here.


Boulder's was held in the lofty upstairs studio space of the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art – the tables laid out with both amateur and professional entries.


Dirt Boy, based on the book by the same name, was created with Cocoa Krispies, Tootsie Rolls, Gummi worms, frosting and dark chocolate bars. 


Mr. Malice In Wonderland's political statement was made with white cake, fondant, white chocolate and food coloring. What's hard to see in this photo is how the cake lifts off the "page" in a very deep 3D way.


I really like this simple and whimsical entry – made with chocolate, butter, sugar, vanilla and frosting. Really, what else do you need?


In the savory category, Fish made a nice aquarium like showing.


And this entry is titled, The Red Sea Scrolls, was made with whole wheat flour, whole wheat tortillas, pasta and red vegetable dye. Maybe not quite as edibley attractive as some of the others, but I liked the concept.


Where The Red Fern Grows made a nice showing with Chinese red fern, artichokes, spinach, mayo, sour cream, cheese and garlic. 


And you guessed it, Green Eggs and Ham – eggs, bacon, spinach, sour cream, cheese, onions, oregano and parsley.


There were two professional entries this year, this one a depiction of the Eric Carle book, The Very Hungry Catepillar, by Indulge Bakery. Yum! I probably read the book to my son about 10,987,998 times.


And this tome is by the new Boulder chocolate shop, Piece, Love and Chocolate. I could sit down with one those charming chocolate tea cups right this minute. Double yum!


 I think this was my favorite entry. A conceptual art homage to the writer Marcel Proust, entitled the Repository of Memory. The artist sat at this little victorian desk and sampled Madeline's (the little cookies on the tiered stand) apparently a favorite of Proust's. She had copied pages of some of the old books you see here onto edible paper (you can do this at a grocery store with a bakery department that does realistic cakes) and you could literally eat the writer's words.

I love this Proust quote she had on the little desk,

"But when from a long-distant past nothing subsists, after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered, still, alone, more fragile, but with more vitality, more unsubstantial, more persistent, more faithful, the smell and taste of things remain poised a long time, like souls, ready to remind us, waiting and hoping for their moment, amid the ruins of all the rest; and bear unfaltering, in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence, the vast structure of recollection."

I know whenever I have a slice of lemon meringue pie, I am instantly transported back to my grandmother's kitchen, now some 40 years ago and she is alive for me again.


Several of the Book Arts League artists were there with little presses. I fell in love with Vivian Jean's charming little pie cards. 


Indeed a motto for life if ever I heard one – Eat to Live and Live to Read.

3 Responses to Let Them Eat Their Books…

  1. Stephanie says:

    I have yet to make it to a Edible Book art affair…

    thank you so much for this comprehensive and delicious tour!!!


  2. Liesel says:

    What a fun event!! I love seeing all the creativity and yummy cakes it inspired. You seem to have a wild streak towards tempting innocent people with delicious looking food (including that wicked chocolate bar you sent me!). Excellent qualities in a friend! : ) xo

  3. lyle baxter says:

    what fun that must have been! The little cards with the wonderful motto were my favorites. thanks

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