Milligan College hosts annual Edible Books contest

Published 9:28 am Wednesday, April 15, 2015

NW0415 Edible Books B

For many people, literature has long been a matter of taste, but students at Milligan College are giving a new meaning to the phrase “devouring a good book.”

Milligan College’s P.H. Welshimer Memorial Library hosted the fifth Edible Books Contest Monday and Tuesday.

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The contest has been held each year near the start of April to coincide with the International Edible Book Festival, and offers a full plate of literary classics mixed with classic pun and games.

Students were invited to submit their votes for the funniest or punniest, most creative and overall favorite. The edible book event is an international program designed to promote reading.

Milligan Research and Instructional Librarian Mary Jackson said the international program has been sponsored by numerous libraries and archives across the globe over the past several years.

Students, faculty, staff and their immediate family members were encouraged to enter the contest, which requires them to create a completely edible representation of a book.

“The only rule that we have is that their entry must be totally edible,” Jackson said. “We’ve had contestants enter everything from cookies to cakes.”

The contest does not have a theme, Jackson said. The only requirement is that the edible creations be inspired by something “book related.”

This year’s contestants were inspired by a wide range of different books, including “Outliers: A Story of Success” by Malcolm Gladwell, “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” by Jules Verne, Dante’s “Inferno”,  “All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque, “Around the World in 80 Days” by Jules Verne, “Madeline” by Ludwig Bemelmans, “Cheaper by the Dozen” by Frank Gilbreth, “Othello” by Shakespeare and “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston.

“Some of our contestants took a more conventional approach and created an edible book based on the cover, while others took more of a punny or funny approach,” Jackson noted.

Even though the event has been held for five years now, all of the entries have maintained their originality, Jackson said.

“We’ve never had any repeats,” she said. “We have had some based on the same book, but they have all been new and different every year. You’ll think you have seen everything but then there is always something fun, clever and cute.”

The entries were displayed until 10 p.m. Monday. Students and the public were invited to vote on the entries, choosing the most creative, the funniest or the punniest and the favorite overall. Winners were given a gift card. Tuesday morning library staff and student workers voted on the tastiest entry.

The overall favorite was Lindsay Kendress’s cake for “Madeline” with a cake depicting a French park with a brownie Eiffel Tower. Megan Lincoln and Justin Athey’s cake of “Around the World in 80 Days” won the tastiest cake and the most creative cake. Their cake featured a large, square chocolate cake decorated like a calendar with a round cake decorated like a globe placed on top. The funniest or punniest cake went to Grace Jackson’s “20,000 Leeks Under the Sea,” which was a large container of blue Jello with leeks in it, in reference to “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”

Jackson said that after the winners were announced, the rest of the Milligan College community was invited in to have a taste of the book-themed creations.

“The contest is fun on a number of levels,” she said. “There are books. There is tasty food. There is nothing bad about this.”

To learn more about the International Edible Book Festival, visit