Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Food Field Trip: Gilroy Garlic Festival

Donning my"thinking" cap: the best and worst I ate. things.
  
Despite Gilroy being known for its yearly Garlic Festival, I never believed that the city smelled of the pungent bulb until I was driving through about a month and a half ago during harvesting season. Rolling down my windows on the 101, my car filled up with the distinct smell, reminding me that I had to look up this year's festival date.

As a garlic aficionado, it has been my dream for years to dine on garlic ice cream and other confections, and with my convenient location no more than 38 miles away from the Garlic City, it was finally my time.

Near the end of my stay, I took a break from chowing down on (and photographing) the garlic fare below, donned my garlic bulb thinking cap, and considered what I learned.

These are my findings.


A woman on a mission, when I first arrived, I immediately asked a garlic guide where I could find the free ice cream.  Seasoned with garlic powder, the vanilla soft serve was an odd yet satisfying mixture of flavors. But while I certainly devoured my cone, I wouldn't recommend more than the small amount pictured above. 

Not unless you want your tongue to taste like garlic for the next twenty-four hours.

The same goes for the garlic kettle corn, another sweet garlic mixture that was good enough to take home to my roommates, but became the bane of my taste buds' existence later that evening.


After tasting pickled garlic, garlic preserves, garlic barbecue sauce, garlic oil, garlic salsa, garlic tortilla ships, garlic pistachios, and the garlic chocolate pictured at the top, I decided that it was time for lunch.

Clearly the garlic gods were stingy with the samples.

Having a tough time choosing between garlic fried green tomatoes and a crab and garlic doused fried artichoke, I opted for the protein-laden pulled pork sandwich smothered in garlic barbecue sauce as pictured above.

Garlic makes pork better.

And because y'all like pictures, I harassed other festival-goers, snapping photos of Gilroy's famous garlic fries, shrimp scampi and garlic bread, and some delicious-looking stuffed mushrooms.

I tried not to drool.

At the end of the day, I decided that, while my favorite treats were the Salted Garlic Chocolate Frogs, my least favorite was the chocolate peanut butter cup, a combination that should never have made it out of the test kitchen.

I also sadly determined that, after making a half-dozen attempts to remove the taste from my mouth,  there is a such thing is too much garlic.

Regardless, my love remains strong.

15 comments:

The Cilantropist said...

Haha, oh long lost friend, you make me laugh. :D I am in love with your garlic cap, I think you definitely need to wear that next time I see you. Though hopefully the garlic smell will be gone by then. Ha!

mom said...

it is truly sad that the garlic peanut butter cups disappointed as Reese's are one of your favorites.

i also love the garlic hat, as that picture hangs proudly at my desk.

speakeasy kitchen said...

That looks like FUN!

Nicole Kramer said...

I'm glad you made it there! Was the traffic as horrible as I've heard? I stayed home and pickled some garlic in your honor.

Daydreamer Desserts said...

Love that first pic of you, looks like you had a mighty fine time, and can I just say I'm drooling over those garlic fries. :p...

Lizzy said...

Haha...are you the first case of garlic overdose? SO many fun and yummy foods...not sure I'm a fan yet of garlic in sweets, but I'd be willing to sample :)

Erica said...

Looks so much fun!

Year Old Birthday Party Ideas

Christine's Pantry said...

Looks like fun! Great photos.

kita said...

Wow, I can't imagine that much garlic. My father seems to be immune to it though - so I need to bring him to a garlic festival and see if he can taste it then. There's never enough when he's around. Thanks for sharing :D

Monet said...

How much fun! I love garlic too but I don't know if I could stomach the garlic soft-serve. You are a brave woman! Thanks for sharing this food field trip. I enjoyed the ride :-)

sara @ CaffeIna said...

Oh it really does smell like garlic during harvest doesn't it! I bet you loved this garlic-immersion :) And yeah....I'm back to the bloggers world, at least with the comments, let's see when I get to post :(
We need to organize another meeting

Jackie said...

Ha, this was brilliant - I greatly enjoyed this post!

Sadly I've now reached the conclusion that my love of garlic is outweighed by my desire to not smell like a pound of garlic cloves. I know, I'm letting public opinion dissuade me but I just hate how my fingers smell for days after cooking with it.

My brother would adore this garlic festival, though - he eats the stuff raw!

Jax x

bb's mom said...

someone needs to post.

bb's mom said...

someone has gotten a bit lazy and needs to post

Nicole said...

You are brave to have sampled some of those delicacies...I also drove through Gilroy years ago and yes, it did smell quite pungent! I honestly can't imagine the garlic peanut butter cup. I agree there is such a thing as too much garlic!

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