International Edible Book Day is celebrated on April 1st. April Fools may seem like the perfect day to create literary inspired desserts and dishes, but in fact Edible Book Day celebrates the birthday of French gastronome Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755 – 1826). Famous for his book Physiologie du goût, Brillat-Savarin and his colleague Grimod de La Reynière are known as the creators of the gastronomic essay genre.
This unusual holiday was the brainchild of book artists Judith A. Hoffberg and Béatrice Coron, who cooked up this idea in 1999 during Thanksgiving. Edible Book day was first celebrated in 2000. This yearly event takes place around the world and invites bibliophiles, book artists, binders and food lovers to combine literature with food in creative and humorous ways.
In this video for North Bennet Street School, Colin Urbina and I offer two options for creating an edible book inspired by bookbinding techniques. Using tortillas for pages and jelly and peanut butter for glue, Colin recreates an edible version of a Drum-leaf binding.
I was greatly inspired by Tiffany Eng’s post on the West Dean Arts & Conservation blog. I’ve been wanting to make her version of a Japanese Stab binding for a long time. Unfortunately, my twizzler thread was not long enough to create the proper sewing. My edible book has leaves of lettuce, ham and salami with swiss cheese endpapers and mayonnaise doublures. The Cambridge panel tooling was done with yellow mustard. Our books were bound, documented and then consumed.
Even though this video is geared towards kids, this technique is great for any age group. You can find more online content created for NBSS here. If you are looking for even more instructional content, I have a growing list of tutorials and I also teach live workshops in-person and online. Check out my list of Upcoming Workshops.
Happy International Edible Book Day!