Monday, August 3, 2009

The 31st Annual Garlic Festival

I like garlic, but I'm not what you would call a garlic lover. But, after hearing about the world famous Gilroy, California Garlic Festival for the last two years while living down here, we had to check it out for ourselves a week or so ago. Basically, it's just a big food festival out in the middle of some fields. Lots of food, live music, cooking demonstrations and of course beer and wine.

Pretty much every food item had garlic of some shape or form. In about a 4 and half hour span Tonja and I shared garlic bread, a garlic peppersteak sandwich, garlic pesto alfredo pasta, garlic calamari and finished the day off with some garlic fries. And of course washed it down with a beer and a glass of sangria. No garlic in the beer or sangria. I was some what surprised that there was no garlic beer. Seems like a missed opportunity. Could be a fun homebrew challenge.

In addition to eating a lot, we also checked out a cooking demonstration by a chef who owns a couple of swank restaurants in San Francisco. Throughout his cooking demonstration he randomly awarded people in the crowd with gifts such as cook books, t-shirts, aprons and gift certificates. And in what is perhaps one of the strangest items I've every seen thrown out at any event of any kind...he threw out handfuls of garlic flavored condoms.....(awkward silence).......yep, garlic flavored condoms. There you have it. The 31st Annual Gilroy Garlic Festival!!! Some photos...

Like most good festivals of any kind, they make you drive out to the middle of no where. And since this is the garlic growing capital of the US, you can smell the garlic from miles away.

Andrea Froncillo, originally from Naples, Italy has a passion for food and apparently garlic flavored latex. But, he did give us a gift certificate to one of his restaurants up in San Francisco.

It's not everyday you see a 20 foot high flaming clove of garlic. And yes, I need a hair cut.

Proof that people will wait in line for anything free. Here we are waiting in line for a free sample of garlic ice cream. It's basically vanilla ice cream blended with garlic puree. It actually wasn't bad. After a few bites, the taste of garlic kind of goes away and you can only really taste the vanilla ice cream

Garlic Chicken Stir Fry. Looks innocent enough.

Okay, maybe not so innocent. There is actually an entire row of about 10 of these flaming woks. Pretty cool to watch...from a distance.

And finally some ice cold sangria to wash it all down. We smelled of garlic for about three days after this.

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