April Fool's Day an Occasion to Play with Words and Food
Classic books, food, and political commentary came together in a tasty way this weekend as the International Edible Book Festival was celebrated with a contest at the Pittsburgh Public Market in the Strip District.
The international festival marks the April 1 birthday of French gastronome Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. He's famous for his book Physiologie du goût, a witty meditation on food.
In the Pittsburgh contest, first place went to Barb Kleyman and Ellen DeNinno, both students in Chatham University's Food Studies program The women created a confection inspired by the 50th anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. Kleyman and DeNinno shaped Rice Krispie treats into birds and covered the treats with tinted flexible white chocolate. They also used cracked chocolate eggs to represent the thinning of bird eggs that Carson blamed on DDT.
One of the most brightly colored submissions in the contest paid tribute to Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, featuring marshmallow Peeps holding signs of protest such as Harvey Milk's statement, "Hope Will Never Be Silent." Other entries in the contest included homages to Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food, Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, and Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness.
The contest at the Pittsburgh Public Market was organized by the University of Pittsburgh's Student Chapter of the American Library Association.