Berry Main Street was filled with delicious (and some questionable) treats Monday evening as the Dartmouth College Library participated in the International Edible Book Festival for the first time in Dartmouth’s history. Also known as Edible Book Day, the festival has been celebrated since 2000 all over the world. Despite being first-timers, Dartmouth’s participants rose to the challenge, turning out a large variety of punny, mouthwatering culinary artwork based on famous novels.
Walking down a set-up of fold-out tables, students and faculty alike ooh-ed, ahh-ed and lol-ed at Robert Frosting’s “The Rocky Road Not Taken” (accompanied by an equally creative poem); a terrifying, bloody “Killer Angel Food Cake” based on Michael Shaara’s historical novel Killer Angels, which depicted a marzipan hand and knife projecting out of the center of a scrumptious-looking angel food cake; and, finally, “Booklava,” a chocolate-bound baklava, which won the title of Most Creative for paying homage to the festival’s inspiration: the book.
The festival’s audience was noticeably awestruck: Katie McKay ’16 said in astonishment, “This is real, people made these!” Meanwhile, Jillian Katz ’17 “really liked that there was a food table” spread with cheese, grapes, and brownies for the festival’s attendees.
Visitors voted for their favorite entries, and at the end of the festival, the winners were announced. Honorable Mentions went to “The Rocky Road Not Taken,” “Malt-ese Falcon,” “50 Shades of Whey” (actually made out of whey protein powder) and “Of Rice and Men.” Funniest/Punniest went to “Green Eggs and Hamlet,” which combined chocolate cake with elements of books written by two great poets, Dr. Seuss and Shakespeare.
People’s Choice went to a gorgeous cake sculpture of “Rainbow Fish,” while Most Likely to be Eaten went to “The Devil’s Food and Daniel Webster,” a simple yet skillfully-done devil’s food cake with a chocolate portrait of Daniel Webster piped on top. Before the official closing of the event, the eager audience was finally allowed to consume the creations, with “Rainbow Fish” (predictably) the first to go. And, like they say in the books, everybody lived happily ever after–or at least until the food was gone.
We hope to see the Edible Book Festival become an annual Library tradition. I can’t wait to see what next year looks (and tastes) like!