Washington's Garlic Festival

Alright...last post of the night. Then I'll be all caught up! Yay! So, several weeks ago, I was watching this show on the Food Network about a garlic festival in Gilroy, California. My eyes instantly lit up because I love garlic. Sure, your breath smells for miles after you eat it (definitely a date killer), but that usually doesn't stop me. A few nights ago, I made gambas al ajillo, a Spanish dish that consists of shrimp swimming in a sea of extra virgin olive oil and butter, as well as 5 cloves of minced garlic and chile de arbol. It was delicious. That just goes to show you that when it comes to garlic, the more the merrier. When I cook, I usually use twice the amount of garlic the recipe calls for. Yum.

Any way, after watching the show, I became curious and started to wonder if there were any garlic festivals in this currently raining state of Washington. After searching on Google, lo and behold, there was! And it was only a few weeks away! So I instantly called up Colleen (because she loves garlic just as much as I do) and we planned to make a little road trip to this garlic festival.

Side note: Every person I've told about the garlic festival either rolled their eyes, laughed, gave me weird and disgusted looks, and/or said "you're crazy", "say what?", or repeated "garlic festival? garlic?" Hence, I went with Colleen, because she said, "Garlic? Let's go!"

On the day of the festival, Colleen and I left my apartment at about 8:30 AM, picked up some gasoline and coffee, and drove out onto the open road for some three and a half hours. In addition to driving in the pouring rain, we made a few potty trips, which included some seriously disgusting porta-potties and old bikers. We made really good use of the hand sanitizer that day. We also encountered winding roads, really low speed limits, and the oh-so-reliable XM radio that often said "no signal".

After driving to the point where my butt was turning numb from sitting for so long, we finally got to the garlic festival. We instantly noticed that the people who were parking cars were waving flags of Italy. Hmmm! Well, they do use garlic in Italian cooking! So we park, get out, walk toward the festival...and no sign. Nothing that says "Welcome to the Garlic Festival!" Just tents. Lots and lots of tents. We make a beeline for the food area.To my surprise, there weren't that many food booths. And of those food booths, not all of them were serving garlicky food items. In fact, a lot of the booths were craft booths. Apparently, tie dye was a HUGE thing at the festival. And leather. One of the booths was even selling bed sheets. Who buys bed sheets at a festival? Hahaha. Enough of the crafts, let's get back to the food. Like I said, there weren't that many garlic food options, but I will tell you what we did eat:

Deep-fried garlic: Don't be turned off by the name of it. I'll be honest, I was a little weirded out at first, but once you taste it, it's really good! Trust me!

Garlic & Beef Empanada: Couldn't even taste the garlic in this one. Dough was not crispy; it tasted as if it's been sitting around for awhile, which I think was the case.

Garlic Onion Rings: This was really good, and really garlicky. So garlicky that towards the end, my lips were getting a little tingly from all the garlic! We had to wait awhile in line, and as we were waiting ever so patiently to place our order, I noticed that a lot of people were dressed really oddly. Other than wearing tie dye, there were lots of cowboy hats...there was even a woman wearing sheep pajamas. But the point is, the rings were good.

We even sampled garlic chocolate fudge. And it really wasn't that bad! I could barely taste the garlic! But I don't have a picture of that because I didn't buy any.

So, after driving for three and a half hours to get to the festival, we ended up only staying for an hour and a half. Honestly, there really wasn't much more that we could do there. So we left the festival of Italian flags, tie dye clothes, cowboy hats, and men dressed up as heads of garlic. Oh yeah. I forgot to mention those men. But I will keep on saying...at least the food was pretty good.

We did one more porta-potty trip and headed home. I was really hoping to reek of garlic at the end. But perhaps I would need to go to Gilroy to make that happen. Next time. Next time.