All the Best at the Garlic Fest

All the Best at the Garlic Fest

By Emily Asbolt

Photo Credit to her brother Stephen Ashbolt

 

Vampires beware- I may still have garlic seeping out of my pores.

Why, you ask?

Well, only because of a lovely little event I had the pleasure of attending this past weekend: the 8 th
Connecticut Garlic and Harvest festival. And as I learned there, when you eat garlic, it is not just your
breath that takes on the familiar odor, but your sweat too. It’s persistent stuff!Image

That little bit of TMI shared, let’s talk more about why garlic is cool. Before last weekend, I knew it
was delicious on bread, but worth an entire festival? As it happens, yes- a remarkable little cluster
of fun, garlic is most closely related to the onion, and is used in some form in nearly every culinary
style the world over. Native to Central Asia, it has been used medicinally for over 7,000 years, and has
been shown to have many health benefits such as helping people control their blood pressure and
cholesterol, and even reducing the risk for some types of cancer! Supergarlic! Plus, it’s pretty great-
tasting.

As unbelievable as this may be, however, the Garlic Festival was not actually my sole reason for having
my parents spend 10 hours in traffic coming to collect me. I will even admit to being a little skeptical
about the whole experience (I prefer traditional autumnal activities that involve more sugar).

But gosh darn it, was it worthwhile.

Featuring over 200 venders, both garlic-related and not, the Garlic and Harvest Festival took my-and-
my-familys’ tastebuds on an autumnal frolic through the most wonderful flavors of the season: organic
peanut butter, chocolate-covered pretzels, dips, oils, breads, cakes, cookies, and even
garlic-pistachio ice cream. And the best part? All of the venders were small businesses and farms like
that which come to our own market at Northeasten, which meant I could stuff my face entirely guilt-
free!

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And how.

Granted, the fact that it was a garlic festival meant that the finicky vegetable had quite a starring role.
Pretty much all of the vendors jumped on the bandwagon, even the ones providing wares traditionally
as far from garlic as one can get (garlic shortbread, anyone?). And the garlic hats- they certainly were
a sight. So if you are the type of person/mythical creature for whom garlic is not really your jive (my
granddad, for instance, who treats every bulb of it he encounters like it once caused him extreme
physical harm), it was not really the place for you.

 

Having the words “garlic festival” in the title probably should have tipped you off to that, though.

And my family (or at least me) will consume just about anything if told it is both a) edible, and, more
importantly, b) free. So a swell time was had by all.

We left the Garlic Festival smelling delightfully pungent and ladened down with fall goodies galore
(ironically enough, nothing garlic flavored- we stuck to the sweet stuff, like maple cream and chocolate
espresso beans), happy to have done our part to stay local, improve the community, and learn a little bit
more about the miracle of nature that is garlic.

Be sure to next year check out the 9th Annual Connecticut Garlic and Harvest Festival, already scheduled
to take place in Bethlehem, CT, October 12-13th, 2013!

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