Impressions from the 1st Annual Toronto Garlic Festival

September 26, 2011


This weekend was chock full of fun events and happenings here in Toronto, which was nice, because it also happened to be gorgeous weather outside. I enjoyed these last warm days of the year in various ways: going for a long morning run, listening to some comics artists talk about their work, roaming the Word on the Street festival, enjoying some vegan s’mores at a bonfire in Dufferin Grove, and on Sunday morning, trekking out to the 1st Annual Toronto Garlic Festival at Evergreen Brickworks!

Now I realize that a festival all and only about garlic may be a turnoff to some, but for me it’s a dream. Seeing the big Brickworks shed filled with garlic stand after garlic stand filled me with joy and excitement, and I was quickly shelling out money to purchase garlic varieties and concoctions that I had never seen or even heard of before. There were jars of pickled garlic and pickled garlic scapes (these are from From These Roots)…

…and jars of garlic jelly (these are from Acadian Shamrock Farm—I got some of their garlic rosemary jelly, which sounds weird, but tastes great!)…

…and of course, piles and piles of garlic!

These bulbs are from Golden Acres Farm, which grows an astounding variety of garlic, using species from all around the world! I picked up some Floha from Germany, Rosewood from Poland, and Korean Red from (you guessed it) Korea. Very excited to try these out!

The festival wasn’t perfect, though. First off, it was fairly small, but perhaps that’s too be expected of a festival in its first year focusing solely on garlic. However, the biggest downside was that there was a five dollar admission charge to get in, which seemed exorbitant given the festival’s size, and the fact that you still had to pay for anything you wanted once you were inside (except for the various cooking demos and talks going on throughout the day). I can only hope that the admission charge helped make the vendor registration fee lower. But if the Garlic Festival comes back next year, I’d surely like to see the admission fee go, or at least become cheaper.

Nonetheless, I really enjoyed the 1st Annual Toronto Garlic Festival. It opened my eyes to new parts of the world of garlic, and gave me some exciting new garlicky additions to my kitchen that I can’t wait to try! Don’t be surprised if you see more garlic than normal on this blog in the upcoming weeks.

Until we eat again,


One comment

  1. Hi Willie, I liked your blog post.
    Just to let you know, the admission fee goes toward the organizing, planning and advertising for the garlic festival. There were no government grants for this event!

    I hope to see you at the 2nd Annual Toronto Garlic Festival!

    Peter McClusky
    Director, Toronto Garlic Festival

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