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!

FOOD FIGHT!

Tomorrow kicks of the first ever Food Fight: Food Justice Week at Northeastern University!

The week features programming dedicated to highlighting the 5 aspects of food justice: Earth, Community, Consumer, Action and Producer and there are plenty of opportunities to score some free grub!

Be sure to check out the flyer below and stay tuned for more details!

More details at our Facebook Event Page

Slow Food NU Joins HOWL

Slow Food NU is proud to announce that it is a member of HOWL, Huskies Organizing With Labor.

Since January I’ve been working with a group of student organizers working to make the student body aware of the countless human rights abuses of intimidation and harassment, of poverty wages and of bad food being prepared in the dining halls.

I could tell you more about those things, but I think that is best left for the workers. It is time we finally hear their voices. And you can, tonight Campus Cafeteria Workers Speak Out from 7-9pm in 10 Bk.

I’ve had the opportunity to hear the workers to stand behind them as they step up to the administration. I admire their strength and courage as they take a serious risk in forming a perfectly legal union. How sad is that? Luckily, they have numbers on their side and I’m honored to be just  one of those many numbers. Slow Food NU is honored to be part of the organizing coalition.

Slow Food NU believes if good, clean and FAIR food. 

We know the workers are not being treated fairly.

We know the workers are not being paid fairly.

We know opportunities for workers to advance are not fair.

We know that administration’s stance on neutrality is not fair. They say they will allow Chartwells and the workers to engage in constructive conversations. You think after years of abuse Chartwells is interested in being constructive? In being polite? In being courteous, understanding, accommodating?

We know. We know what’s going on.

Show your support for the cafeteria workers. Like the HOWL page and don’t forget to sign the petition.

Written by Slow Food Executive Director, Erin McIver

Soup Swap

Squash and matzo, minestrone – at a soup party you’re never alone!
On the eve of the coldest night of 2012 in Boston yet, my friends and I gathered for our First Annual Soup N’ Swap. Hosted by the lovely Marie and Hannah, the get together was 1 part soup potluck, 1 part clothing swap, and a whole lot of friend-loving. “I like the idea of sharing:” said Hannah in between spoon-fulls, “food, clothes, ideas and friends. Good company is all you need.”Ah, the mentality of slow foodies.

Lauren used a metal herb cage to keep her herbs safe during boiling

So what inspired the soup swap? “My family always has random themed parties, and growing up we had soup parties” said Marie, ladeling out bowls of a butternut squash soup, “I knew our friends would enjoy this tradition!” Marie and her roommate Hannah whipped up a delicious version of the winter root vegetable puree. Their thick and creamy butternut squash soup had a distinct sunset orange color and warmth. Elise and Megan brought a yummy motzo ball soup, which friends enjoyed either cold or warmed up. Paige and Lou made sure to keep the spotlight on leafy greens with an awesome mixed salad, dressed with gorgonzola, caramelized shallots and walnuts. All disappeared in seconds from the stove.

My dear friend and Slow Food NU member Lauren just returned from a semester abroad in Australia, which she rounded out with a backpacking trip through Asia. A cooking class in Thailand inspired her contribution to the swap. Lauren’s Tom Kha Gai, a tasty Thai coconut soup, was a welcomed out-of-the-ordinary addition to the potluck. The distinctly sweet aroma from the coconut milk masked a nice spicy kick creating an addictive taste that almost had me drinking the tangy broth straight from the pot. Lauren’s version omitted the chicken stock in favor for fish stock to satisfy the majority of our pescatarian tongues. Discovering baby corn -one of my favorite veggies- in my bowl of Tom Kha had my mouth doing somersaults.

Rounding out the array of soups was Dave’s minestrone. A hearty brew in all the senses, the minestrone filled my nose and mouth with smells and tastes that reminded me of my mom’s version. Dave’s ‘strone included chunks of potatoes and a variety of beans that served well to thicken up the soup. What I initially thought was spinach turned out to be kale, a commendable ingredient to any dish.

Irresistible!

With our bellies full of homemade soup and our souls warmed by the laughter of reuniting buddies, it was easy to forget that it was below freezing not so far outside the kitchen. “I think in today’s world of canned soup it’s inspiring to see people taking the time to brew their own stew” said Lauren. Indeed- let us always reject the condensed, microwaveable versions of life’s beauty. Whether it’s soup or friendships, we can all afford to take a little more time to give some tender love and care.

Written by Frank Marino
Director of Policy and Advocacy