As I was peeling three cloves of fresh garlic harvested from our garden to make a batch of hummus, it occurred to me that it must soon by time for the Annual Gilroy Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California.
I remember the first time we drove in to the town of Gilroy. Even before we saw the signs for the highway exit, we smelled the sweet scent of fresh garlic in the air. It was really rather pleasant. Pleasant enough that we followed our noses to find out where it was coming from and came upon a food processing operation called Gilroy Foods.
Gilroy is known as the “Garlic Capital of the World” because that company processes more garlic at that location than any other place in the world. Much of that garlic is grown in the fields in and surrounding Gilroy. Between the factory and the fields, there is plenty garlic aroma to go around at harvest time which is right about now – late July. And when there is a garlic harvest going on, it is also time for the garlic festival. A quick check on-line revealed that this year’s fest is next weekend – July 28, 29 and 30, 2017.
Previous years, I have had the pleasure of trying garlic ice cream, garlic chocolate, shrimp scampi, garlic fries, and a host of other garlic-infused edibles. And the fun doesn’t stop with just food and drink. They also have the selection of Miss Gilroy Garlic, cooking contests, music, games and arts and crafts. I remember being enamored one year with a tie-dye t-shirt that had little garlic cloves creatively dyed into the pattern. Not sure how they tied that one to achieve it but it sure was well done!
All this talk of garlic and garlic festivals is calling me. If it is calling you too, get your tickets. Maybe I’ll see you next weekend at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. All proceeds go to charity so it’s a great way to eat, drink and be merry all in support of a good cause.