Saturday, November 3, 2007
Cooking the Books
This is not a post on illegal accounting practices at the old bookshop, but a consideration of that interesting breed, the Edible Book. I had never considered such an animal until I saw Book Patrol's report about the Deep Fried Books of artists John LaFalce and Drew Matott. The pair battered and fried up platters of books as part of Columbia College's Manifest Urban Arts Festival in Chicago this past May and have done this kind of performance art/cookery at several other venues. The results are certainly interesting and in the example shown here, somewhat disturbingly like a human ribcage.
The samurai-haired Matott has launched his own Deep Fried Book Blog where you can read about the subject more in-depth. No information on shelf life or whether trans fats were involved with these erstwhile edibles. I should think in their vacuum-sealed wrappers they might last longer than a Twinkie but less than the cockroach species. The Blog also contains video footage of other Book Fries and solicits book donations for upcoming events, should one be so inclined.
Prowling other biblio-culinary websites, I came across the Festival International Du Livre Mangeable (International Festival of Edible Books) where one can feast one's eyes on bookish characters and scenes made out of food and book-shaped food, mostly cake and chocolate constructions, from all over the world. This annual festival is celebrated each year around April 1st, the birthdate of French culinarian and author of "The Physiology of Taste", Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. Each year many libraries, museums, and artists collaborate on this visual feast and produce these fanciful book and food sculptures.
Rebecca Federman's Cooked Books blog explores all things culinary at the New York Public Library. There are tidbits about cookbooks, cooking-related art exhibits and and other biblio-canapes which are worth sampling.
Eat. Read. Love.