Nothing reminds me more of summer than festivals, food, and sunny warm days. The Gilroy Garlic Festival is something that I have been attending for years and this year did not disappoint!
My pro tip to any perspective attendees is to go early and leave early, this festival gets very busy at peak times and traffic in the small town of Gilroy can back up for miles. I went with my sister Anna and my girlfriend Jenn to venture through the flavors, sights, and sounds of the festival! They are both garlic aficionados and were very excited to see what was on the menu. The one thing that I wish you as readers could experience is the wonderful smell of garlic that envelops you as you enter Gilroy. A giant flaming garlic greets you as you enter the festival grounds, this is serious business guys. All hail the giant clove!
Garlic is practically incorporated into everything at this festival from the food to the clothing, one of the coolest things we found this year was a Garlic Hat! You would be surprised by how many people stopped us dead in our tracks to ask where we got it. To be honest, I would wear this as a chef hat any day.
One of the great things about the festival is that there is a lot of local community support, this seamstress creates hundreds of hats each year for the Garlic Festival and practically all of the food vendors are local.
Jenn bought one of the Garlicky creations to take home as a souvenir. I had to model it just to show you guys how epic this hat is. Goodbye snapbacks, hello Garlic! (Disclaimer: I stole Jenn’s signature pose)
I could just feel the love that was put into this hat, and I really appreciated the old-school sewing machine that was used to create it.
Warning: Things are about to get tasty for my next section of this article. Hold onto your tastebuds as I give you a tour of what we sampled throughout the day!
The Garlic Festival is best known for this unexpected treat, Garlic Ice cream. Now it may look innocent and cute, but the taste may not be for everyone. I would recommend trying it though because its pretty fun!
I wanted to show you guys my reaction to trying the Garlic Ice Cream! Now go for yourself next year and try it!
Now for something a little bit more traditional, these were Parmesan and Garlic stuffed mushrooms, they had us saying “ooh-mami 😉
It isn’t a Garlic Festival without some Garlic Fries! I liked these a lot more than the go-to Giants game fare.
This next one was a pretty interesting creation, a spin on chicken and waffles. I really liked the fresh addition of the coleslaw and the drizzle of maple to bring everything together.
It was so exciting watch the garlic cook-off’s and the huge flame-ups! Nearly singed my eyebrows off (just kidding)
This pan was gigantic and you could seriously feed an army with it, or use it like a shield in the 300 movie.
The air was tickled with smoke from all of the various grilles with tantalizing offerings like these chicken skewers.
In the words of DJ Khaled, Garlic bread is a major key. This made for a perfect walk around snack!
I hope you enjoyed our adventure through the festival, avoid the long lines and come early! As you can see the variety is endless! I will keep you all updated next week with more adventures.
Photos: Michael Klonoff
Words: Michael Klonoff