April 07, 2017

Creativity, humor on display at Edible Book Festival

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- When bacon, licorice strands, marshmallow lambs, gummy worms and other taste treats join the thousands of literary and special collections treasures at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Morris Library, it can mean only one thing: the Edible Book Festival.

The annual event tests the creative ways people can imagine for eating their words. Each of the entries was an illustration of a book title, in some way, made entirely of edible components. The 2017 Best of Show winner was a nicely shaped cake airliner covered in white fondant and topped with tiny decorated cakes. Laura Morgan, academic adviser for the College of Engineering, earned an Amazon Fire tablet for her entry, “Cakes on a Plane” (“Snakes on a Plane”).

The People’s Choice Award, voted on by all in attendance, went to “The Porks of Being a Cauliflower” by Josephine “Josie” Arnett, a sophomore journalism major from Edwardsville, for her “punny” rendition of “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” Complete with assorted pork products and cauliflower, her entry also won the Best Saluki Submission prize.

The youngest award winner was Isaiah Duckworth of Carbondale, winner of the Best Future Saluki prize for his “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” featuring green crackers surrounding a goblet containing red pop rocks.

The other prize-winning entries at SIU’s 2017 Edible Book Festival were:

  • “Punniest” award – “If You Give a Moouse a Cookie” (“If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”), with chocolate mousse and chocolate cookies, by Gary Shepherd, a senior library specialist for Library Affairs.
  • Most Edible – “ Gummy Worms of Dune” (“Sandworms of Dune”), a chocolate icing-covered mound sprouting candy worms, by Addison Jobe, a master’s student in civil engineering from California, Mo.
  • Best Book Structure – “Unravel Me,” a taco bowl filled with multi-colored and intertwined licorice strands, submitted by Susan Howell, a senior library specialist with Library Affairs.

The School of Music’s Concert Choir provided special entertainment during the April 4 festival as well. The event is sponsored by the Friends of Morris Library. Photos are available on the library’s Flickr page