The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A taste for literature

Charlottes+Web
Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker

Charlotte’s Web

Oh Gelato, Gelato, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways … Vanilla, caramel, raspberry cheesecake. But soft! What Gelato through yonder box breaks? It is the literary food festival, and sweet indulgences is the taste. Literature. It’s the matter of taste.
Literature became a tasty treat for contestants and judges Saturday at the Larry J Ringer Library, as Texas A&M hosted the fourth Edible Book Festival. The festival is an international event that allows communities to become creative by making culinary dishes that represent books.
Texas A&M director, learning, and outreach librarian, Stephanie Graves noticed when she first came to College Station that Texas A&M did not have an edible book festival and other universities did.
“Two of the librarians that are here at A&M had done it at our last university that we were at,” Graves said. “We said, ‘Oh they don’t do edible book festival here, we should start one here.’”
The competition places culinary creations into seven categories. The first is a children’s category, which includes kids up to fifth grade, and a teen category, which includes sixth graders and up. Additional categories include “grossest,” “punniest,” people’s choice, best in show and the Mrs. Congeniality category, which is based on creative structure.
Winners of each category receive $25 Barnes and Nobles gift cards and T-shirts, and everyone who participated in the event received a trophy. Three judges look for creativity, skill and ingredients used in each category as they make their selection and then vote in each category besides people’s choice, in which the audience chooses the winner.
Winner Joseph Fusselman, current student at College Station High School, received second place for best teen award with his creation of “Ketchup in the Rye.” Fusselman’s creation consisted of ketchup that was absorbed by a piece of rye bread. “I love puns, and I really wanted to do something punny,” Fusselman said. “I decided to do something classy, so I did Ketchup in the Rye.”
Jill Geary, library specialist at Texas A&M, won the people’s choice award for Three Mentos in a Boat, which spoofed the book “Three Men in a Boat.”
 “I looked for titles that can play into puns and saw ‘Three Men in a Boat,’ and immediately thought of Three Mentos in a Boat,” Geary said.
While contestants prepare cakes to enter for awards before the event, attendees of the Edible Book Fest can also try their hand at cake creation.
“I’ve been really thrilled with the participation. The build-your-own — when people come in and use our materials — has been very popular. We’ve had kids come in and make all sorts of really interesting things,” said librarian Jennifer Bayer. “We provided some extra candy, and pretzels, frosting, and we’ve been really amused and pleased by the entries they’ve come up with.”
After four years of successful Edible Books Festivals, Bayer said the festival’s organizers expect it to continue to grow in popularity.
“We guided it to be more of a community event, rather for just staff, faculty and students, so we did a lot of marketing and reached out to KBTX and the local media to get our words out there,” Bayer said.

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