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.
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.