Edible Book Festival Showcases Classic Concoctions

By Maria Kim, Bloc Reporter 

The Second Annual Edible Book Festival at College Park attracted foodies and bookworms April 1 to vote for the most appetizing and wittiest edible “bookish” creations.

Eric Cartier, University of Maryland Libraries digital librarian, coordinated the event for the second time.

The event occurs on April Fools’ Day because it’s about “fun, punning on book titles and wordplay,” Cartier said.

Contestants could enter the competition as long as they made an edible concoction inspired by a book, author or other art form.

“Everyone’s in on the joke,” Cartier said.

Participants cast more than 70 ballots for the 18 edible entrants, which was more than the number of votes last year’s festival collected.

The Best in Show award went to Ian Kanabe’s ode to Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’s “The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha.” Titled “Don Qui-Hoagie and Sancho Pizza,” the piece featured hoagie Quixote and Bagel Bite Sancho Panza.

Kristy Robb created “Fight Club,” a tribute to the Chuck Palahniuk book of the same name made through a severed club sandwich decorated as two opposing fighters, winning the Most Wittiest award.

Maria Kim/Bloc Reporter~Aaron Ginoza, the library’s social media and community engagement coordinator, showcases his creative concoction.
Maria Kim/Bloc Reporter~Aaron Ginoza, the library’s social media and community engagement coordinator, showcases his creative concoction.

A concoction of crackers, chocolate and marshmallows crafted into the shape of numbers “1984” stood as an ode to George Orwell’s dystopia. Aaron Ginoza, the library’s social media and community engagement coordinator, created the Orwell offering, “Nineteen Eighty S’more,” winning the Most Appetizing award.

Kate Long, outreach and exhibition graduate assistant at Hornbake, and Lissa Brennan, a library science graduate student, entered the competition with “Canter’berry’ Tales.”

The duo’s creation, inspired by Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales,” used whip cream, cake, Twizzlers and berries.

Long said this year’s festival gathering surprised her.

“We were really excited to actually be a part of this because we were worried that nobody was going to do it because it was kind of small last year,” Long said. “It ended up being much bigger than we thought it was.”

When Cartier organized the festival last year at the McKeldin Library Plaza, not many people attended, he said.

To generate more involvement, he moved the event to the Hornbake Library Plaza, distributed buttons, made the competition into a popular vote and integrated social media to market the event.

“I think social media definitely helped drive traffic to the event website and got people talking,” said Ginoza.

Ginoza promoted the event via Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and even created an animated GIF for the UMD Library’s Tumblr.

“To be honest, when I saw the Facebook event, I wasn’t sure what to expect so everything I saw here was a big surprise,” junior neurobiology major Katy Eslami said. “I think it’s very creative.”

Kanabe received a $50 University Bookstore gift card, while the other two winners each received a $25 gift card.

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