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An Edible Cookbook (For Single Use Only)

It is every child’s fantasy to have a world populated with objects that are, not just edible, but delicious. Everything from edible pencils to edible dolls was the stuff of dreams as a child. Maybe this seed was planted, at least for me, by the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, where nearly everything within grabbing distance was sublimely delicious:

Regardless, the whimsical notion of edible objects, especially everyday objects like books, clothes, and even tableware, is an enduring bit of fun in the adult world, carried over from childhood. The latest addition to the edible object assembly is an edible cookbook. Sure it would be enough just to have a book that, once read, could actually be devoured. However, this book provides somewhat detailed instructions on how to cook a lasagna, while simultaneously being the lasagna as well (see pictures here).

Called the “Kochbuch” (which is German for “Cookbook”) the recipe is actually printed upon pages of dried lasagna pasta, which make up the building blocks of the lasagna. Hardly a practical idea, as this is a single-use book and not recommended for home chefs who gloss over the details, as there is no going back once cooked, it is a fairly beautiful use of an innovative concept. But to be sure, there have been countless edible items that have preceded this book idea.

There were the odd and impractical edible neckties made of dried plum courtesy of two Russian innovators. And there was that Project Runway meets Top Chef pairing of edible couture using colorful floral objects made from agar agar sea vegetables and kappa carrageenan. And anyone for a taste for high fashion, and dried lean beef, surely picked up one of those Beef Jerky Chanel Bags. The flight of the edible imagination continues to soar.

Have you ventured into the realm of edible objects? If so, what is the most outlandish thing you have witnessed, tasted, attempted? Should we not be playing like this with our food?

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Eric Steinman

Eric Steinman is a freelance writer based in Rhinebeck, NY. He regularly writes about food, music, art, architecture, and culture and is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit among other publications.

7 comments

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1:15PM PST on Feb 9, 2013

Thank you for the article.

10:17AM PST on Feb 8, 2013

Whatever trips your trigger.............................

10:04AM PST on Feb 8, 2013

"Everything from edible pencils to edible dolls was the stuff of dreams as a child." Not for me, never really understood it, I can see tea cups and little plates for a one time tea party or something, but a doll or a Cookbook or something else that would have multiple uses? I would rather have a cookbook that can be used over and over again, that book it not for me.

Laura S. Not trying to start an argument, but what is wrong with decorating with produce? I decorate with produce and by doing so it is always in sight and makes it easy for my brothers to grab something healthy rather than dig around in the fridge and end up with something not health. Decorating with produce doesn't have to be wasteful.

5:58PM PST on Feb 7, 2013

Thanks so much. Sounds like a fun and interesting concept. Thanks Eric.

11:25AM PDT on Apr 14, 2012

We should NOT be playing with our food. It's right up there with decorating with produce. Food is to be eaten. Any other use is just wasteful.

6:23AM PDT on Apr 13, 2012

Thanks for the article.

12:49PM PDT on Apr 10, 2012

Love playing with food and these are fun and whimsical ideas!! My college roommate made a tube top out of fruit rollups for a themed party we went to. I'll stop there :)

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people are talking

Good luck forever, sweet Derby! *_*

Full of beans or ants in his pants!

Thank You for sharing:)

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