Bad breath, a touchy subject, suffers a bad reputation, and well it should. Can you imagine a time when it may be acceptable and even shared with others. The Fox Run Garlic Festival on Seneca Lake in New York State’s famous Finger Lake’s Wine region took place this past weekend and Paul and I and our lovely cousin Ellie took it in. Of course, garlic is a controversial herb, loved, hated, tolerated or even allergy inducing for many. What does a garlic festival offer? For one and the most important the knowledge that garlic means much more than the white, dry, somewhat bland imported garlic found most often in the ever flourishing grocery chains lining our roads and byways. (That is a topic for another day).
Most obvious, immediately on stepping in front of the vendor tents are the numerous varieties of garlic available. Choosing a few to take home among the huge range of flavors, shapes, sizes, colors is daunting. Tasting becomes an adventure in itself. Each garlic vendor offers samples in small cupfuls of chopped garlic with name labels, toothpicks and the chance to explore the world of garlic. The flavors are fabulous. the breath is another matter. But it is a shared matter. The saying to your companions is “if I taste garlic you have to as well” so as not to offend but to share in the experience. Some attendees walk with their hands in front of their mouths at first but soon become caught up in making choices among the vast array. Chatting with the growers is invaluable in selecting a variety of flavors, sizes and hints and recipes and roasting directions as well. The shame is that more varieties are not readily available to place in our shopping carts at the groceries. Online ordering is helpful in that regard.
|This Variety is called Music, It is large, flavorful and wonderful to roast as well as use in recipes
Garlic aside, the festival presents, food demonstrations, vendors selling honey, maple syrup, oils and vinegar, salsa, spreads, as well as handicrafts. The constant musical performances are wonderful as well as enjoying the Fox Run wine tasting bar and cafe and taking in the sounds, smells, landscapes and joys of visiting the Finger Lakes region of New York State. The lingering mouth taste of garlic fades and becomes pleasant in anticipation of using the purchases in your own kitchen. Yesterday, I made a delicious Garlic soup, a warm mushroom salad (with roasted garlic dressing) and I invented a version of potato pancake or latke using sweet potato, Yautia (a Tuber in the Yucca family) and of course, garlic. Yum. Bon Appetite