“World’s Largest Garlic Festival”

Gilroy, California July 24th

I have been wanting to go to this festival since I did a report at my culinary class on garlic at JCCC.

Christine convinced me this was the year.  We decided to go to California for Christine’s birthday.  Our trip started in Sacramento, where we stayed with friends Thursday night.  On Friday we drove to Gilroy, which was not easy.  The traffic near the San Francisco Bay area was awful!  Fortunately, Christine drove.  We met a couple of Christine’s friends on Saturday.  She went to school with Marguerite, and her friend Steve came too.  They were not as crazy or adventurous  as we were about eating.

We started with Garlic ice cream, Christine didn’t care for it, but I went for seconds.   The escargot were great, but no one else had any.   You could smell the garlic as you arrived, actually, you could smell the garlic even when you were miles away from the festival!!!   The thing that was really great was that 10% of the people from Gilroy volunteered to work this festival, a real community effort. They had guest chefs, Fabio Viviani, from the Firenze Osteria in Southern California, and Andrea Froncillo from the Stinking Rose restaurant in San Francisco were the two we watched.

Some of the interesting things to eat were garlic chocolate, garlic sauce, and garlic fries.  The fries were $6.00, and they had about 20 cents worth of potatoes in the serving.  That was topped with chopped, raw garlic with  herbs and parsley.  Wow! Talk about heartburn!

There were other things to do at the festival.  Christine attended a garlic braiding class.  Pretty funny too!  I don’t think she will be giving up her day job to be a garlic braider!!  They had lots of arts and crafts at the festival.  Marguerite and Christine were interested in those.  We bought a couple of T-shirts and some garlic cookbooks..  But mostly, we just walkded around and ate.

More to come on the Califonia trip…


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