Books are good enough to eat
Delicate cupcakes probably don't spring to mind when someone mentions the erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey.
Add some grey icing, handcuffs and a purple tie to the mix and that is exactly how one baker interpreted the book for the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology's (CPIT) third International Edible Book Festival.
Entries could be witty or imaginative interpretations of their favourite titles or a cake in the shape of a book. Entries were then displayed, photographed, judged and devoured.
My foray into edible book judging started as I could only imagine anyone's would - with a spread of 30 culinary interpretations of all manner of books and novels. The Tales of Peter Rabbit, Dr Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham,The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake and The Hunger Games were some of the titles that came in weirdly wonderful forms.
Donna Robertson of Christchurch City Libraries, writer and columnist Joe Bennett, CPIT academic director Sheila McBreen-Kerr and I were each given a category to judge, including best interpretation, "punniest", most imaginative and most delectable.
I'm a chocolate fiend with a sweet tooth, so it was a tough call making an objective decision on the most delectable. A plate of carrots, spoonful of jam or an Easter-egg laden chocolate cake? Tough call.
My heart and stomach went to the "Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse" chocolate cake, topped with fierce-looking bunnies - although the "Fifty Shades" cupcake creation did test my indecisive nature.
Part-time student Janelle Olley, 20, was eyeing up the chocolate cake, along with her friend Georgie Strangman. They were certain it was going to win and were sticking around long enough to score a taste. There were two finalists for best in show but it was "Sconehenge" that came out on top. There were engineering factors to take into account and those scones must have been measured carefully.
Robertson gave "best interpretation" to "Fifty Shades of Grey" with its shaded icing and the fact "someone would do something on Fifty Shades of Grey when it gets slammed all the time". Bennett awarded "punniest" to The Tales of Peter Rabbit because it "left the viewer a little work to do" with a sprinkle of raisins and a little tail on top. Most imaginative went to Frankenstein.
"It was a totally clever play on words," McBreen-Kerr said.
- The Press