Edible Book Festival at the Portland Public Library

Monday, April 8th, 2013

After years of seeing the signs and forgetting to enter, this year I finally managed to get myself organized in time to enter the Edible Book contest at the Portland Public Library.

The Edible Book Festival is a nationwide event, usually held on April 1st. Participants create an edible item which represents a book, story, or poem. The creation can be based on a character, title, or pun relating to the literary work.

For the past two years (at least), the Portland Public Library has hosted the Edible Book Contest during First Friday.  At the end of the night, after a winner has been announced, everyone digs in with fork and spoon.

This year’s event featured quite a few tasty creations.   The most gruesome was a girl’s strawberry/rhubarb pie representation of the Lord of the Flies.  It included a bloodied marzipan pig head on a spike.  The tastiest, I thought, was one based on a poem about a dinosaur: hummus, a veggie forest, and artichokes.

My entry was a Literary Fruit Salad.  My boyfriend had inspired me weeks earlier when I saw the flyer and started coming up with ideas.  He immediately suggested The Cantaloupe of Ezra Pound.  We talked about making melon balls and setting them on top of a kitchen scale.

The only problem is that I really don’t *like* Ezra Pound, so I didn’t want my piece to represent his work alone, in case people got the wrong idea.  I decided to do a fruit salad (with a pound of cantaloupe, of course).  I spent the two days before the event brainstorming books with fruits in the title.  I included a recipe so people could guess what book each item represented, with answers on the back.  It was pretty rewarding to see so many people interacting with my piece.

Here’s a video of the event from a few years ago:


And here’s my recipe:

Fruit Salad Recipe:

1 Pound of Cantaloupe (Ezra large).

½ cup strawberries I picked while lost on a mountain in Maine.

1 sun dried raisin

½  cup California grapes (imported from Oklahoma)

5 small peppers

3 blueberries, picked in Maine (may substitute huckleberries if someone has eaten all the blueberries)

1 diced mango from South America


Peach jam made from extra large peaches

Juice of 1 orange, peeled clockwise (reserve 5 orange seeds)

Mix fruit for salad in medium sized bowl.  Mix dressing separately.  Toss dressing with salad.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Articles