Saturday, September 10, 2011

What garlic is to food, insanity is to art. 
Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Irish-born American sculptor (1848-1907) 

Stratford is a magnet for lovers of Shakespeare and now for lovers of garlic as it opened its third annual Garlic Festival this weekend. S-I-L joined me for this culinary pilgrimage, which turned into a circuitous "Dee-Tour" as we meandered through multiple road projects and wrong turns -- there and back. Oh well, it was a beautiful day to be driving in the countryside.

We arrived with just enough time to check out the vendor tents and learn a little about the multiple varieties of locally-grown garlic, snapes, and how to grow this species of the onion genus. All of the varieties are much more interesting than the lily-white, taste-deficient Chinese model that has overwhelmed markets in Egypt and Canada alike. In both countries, it's worth the effort to search for  local bulbs.

All festivals have their own brand of food on a stick and so the Time Traveller challenged me to find garlic on a stick. It appears that there is still an entrepreneurial opening in the stick market, even though garlic fudge and garlic ice cream have already been taken. I did find battered and deep-fried garlic, which tasted pretty good and fulfilled my festival fat quota. It accompanied the garlic shooter, consisting of grated garlic, soda water and lemon.

The festival even had a 'midway' in the form of a stunning 1908 Vulcan steam engine with a whistle that brought smiles to kids, young and old.

This is my first fall fair of the season that lasts until Thanksgiving. There's so much to look forward to! Stay tuned! ;-)

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