’Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and the other few to be chewed and digested’ - said Sir Francis Bacon. Seems like some people took his words quite literally and started doing so on a regular basis. Once a year, to be exact.
The International Edible Book Festival, also known as Edible Book Day, is a yearly event held on or around April 1st throughout the world and this is not an April Fools’ joke. This event unites bibliophiles, book artists, and food lovers to celebrate the ingestion of culture and its fulfilling nourishment. Participants create edible books that are exhibited, documented, and then consumed on the same day.
The first event was initiated by Judith A. Hoffberg and Beatrice Coron in 2000 to commemorate "the birthday of French gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755–1826), noted for his book Physiologie du gout, a witty meditation on food", though April Fools’ Day is also related as "the perfect day to eat your words and play with them as the ’books’ are consumed on the day of the event".
The global event has been celebrated since that time internationally. Big and small celebrations are held in various parts of the world. Book lovers from the USA, Great Britain, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, India, Luxembourg, Morocco, The Netherlands, Italy, Russia, Japan, Hong Kong and other countries unite to celebrate both book-making culture and the culinary arts.
Libraries and book stores around the world often celebrate the event by holding an edible book contests. There are usually two general rules for the contests: Entries should be edible, and they must in some way relate to a book. They might physically resemble books, or they might refer to an aspect of a story, or they might incorporate text. These "books" are judged by a panel of judges and by public voting. Prizes are awarded in categories like: Most Creative, Least Edible, Best Tasting, Most Delicious Looking, Best Overall Fiction, Best Overall Non-Fiction, Best Children’s Book.
In the United States Edible Book Day is often celebrated in connection with National Library Week which also takes place in April.