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March 20, 2011

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Tasty literary works at M

TODAY you can read your book ... and eat it too. As Shanghai's three-week International Literary Festival comes to an end, M on the Bund is hosting its third annual Books2eat competition.

The edible-books contest is just what it sounds like: choose a book, character or title and make something - anything - edible with it.

For Revital Melech that was an easy decision: cake. But not the kind of cake you can make in a day. It's taken almost two weeks of planning for the trained pastry chef's "Wizard of Oz" to take shape. The creation includes everything from an airbrushed background to the yellow brick road, along with a 3-D Dorothy and friends.

Melech, who owns a luxury cake boutique, bakes for a living and won last year's Most Professional category.

"I'm not in it for the competition," she says. "It will be fun. I'll try and make (the cake) fun for everybody."

That fun is what caught Cia Bengtsson's eye three years ago, when she and her family were having high tea on the day of the competition. "It's a fun arrangement and we liked the way it was planned," she says.

Last year, she decided to enter the contest and won the prize for the most delicious creation. Today the Swedish mother of three is back with another cake, this time based on the book "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."

"I like to see all the creative, different ideas," Bengtsson says, adding even though most entries tend to be cakes, some of the most creative ones are made of different things like jambalaya.

Her two daughters are joining in too, working off the "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" novels.

"It's really family friendly," Bengtsson says.

The competition has a separate prize category for kids, and special kids' sessions will be held throughout the day.

Spectators can taste the creations and also vote for the People's Choice award.


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