Photo by Ben Thomson
Back in April, the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia, hosted its annual Edible Book Festival to celebrate Edible Book Day. This raised a bunch of questions, such as, “They fucking did what with how for who now?”
Apparently, Edible Book Day commemorates the life of French gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, who wrote a lighthearted account about food entitled Physiologie du Goût, ou Méditations de Gastronomie Transcendante; ouvrage théorique, historique et à l’ordre du jour, dédié aux Gastronomes parisiens, par un Professeur, membre de plusieurs sociétés littéraires et savantes. Or, as it’s more commonly and deliciously known, The Physiology of Taste. On Edible Book Day, universities all over the world hosted events in Brillat-Savarin’s honor, celebrating a love of books, food, and the offensive amount of free time college students and professors have.
Sydney’s Edible Book Festival had a number of activities on its menu, including an event where readers recreated meals and treats from their most beloved works. The highlight of the festivities was the edible-book show, during which literary fans constructed large, digestible versions of their favorite titles because they have given up on having sexual intercourse with anyone ever.
Most of these really awesome people attempted to physically replicate their favorite books with consumable materials, while more adventurous gourmands constructed conceptual food dioramas by recreating scenes or evoking a particular story’s themes. Some were so intricate they took up to 30 hours to create, and all entries competed for prizes in categories that included Most Creative, Least Edible, and Best Overall.
We at VICE Australia love books—and lots and lots of cake—so we decided to make a book cake of our own as a test run for next year’s contest. Following a friendly argument, we settled on turning the Aussie coming-of-age nightmare classic Puberty Blues into a delicious treat. Translating so much angst, emotion, hymen busting, and abortion into something we’d want to eat proved to be a true challenge, and in hindsight our subject matter may not have been Best Overall material. But we felt pretty confident that we could win Least Edible hands down. The strata breakdown is below, and it is thoroughly disgusting. Eat up, bookworms.