It’s bulbous, it grows in the ground and you can smell it from about a mile away… that’s right, we’re talking about garlic! Piquant when raw, zesty in cooking and oh-so sweet when caramelized, it’s one of the most delicious and versatile ingredients. Best of all, it grows right here on Ontario.
If you can’t get enough of this beautiful bulb, visit one of the province’s many festivals that celebrate everything gar-licious! Mouthwash optional.
1. Haliburton Garlic Festival: This family-friendly event boasts a cornucopia of freshly harvested garlic to tantalize your tastebuds. From garlic braiding to garlic preserves and workshops on everything in between, this one-day celebration is not to be missed!
2. Garlic is Great in Newmarket: Come for the live music, interactive cooking and health seminar on the benefits of garlic. Stay for the garlic peeling and pressing contests with prizes to be won!
3. Verona Garlic Festival: Located just 20 minutes north of Kingston, this event hosts the Eastern Ontario Garlic Awards (yup, you read that right)! Who will win for best single bulb, display or braid? You’ll have to come on down to find out! Mingle with local chefs, play mini golf and sip on wine and craft beer while you enjoy the afternoon with fellow garlic aficionados.
4. Sudbury Garlic Festival: Come nibble on some of the most unusual garlic treats around. Ice cream, fudge, tarts and cookies are available, all made with the celebrated ingredient: garlic! Stray from the traditional and try something completely unique in Northern Ontario. Plus, bring your shopping bag to pick up some garlic arts and crafts and garlic mints!
5. Perth Garlic Festival: Running for nearly 20 years, this annual event pays homage to the “stinking rose”. The day brings together thousands of “garlic heads” who are passionate about growing , harvesting, cooking and building community around garlic. There’s even a garlic bread tasting! Join the festivities in Perth, because according to them, “it’s chic to reek”.
6. Stratford Garlic Festival: In it’s ninth year, this celebration is bigger than ever before, and licensed! Have you invented an ingenious garlic gadget? You could enter it to win a prize and bring home all of the garlic glory. Bring your appetite to get a taste of Ontario lavender & garlic salad dressing, Lebanese garlic spread and garlic sauerkraut!
7. Toronto Garlic Festival: Favourite combinations at this event include roasted garlic and chocolate ice cream or dark chocolate and black pepper garlic truffles. If you’re really hardcore, prove yourself by taking a complimentary raw garlic shot (and then enter the garlic breath contest). If you’re feeling something more low-key, catch a garlic film screening to sit back and take all the goodness in!
For more festivals — allium themed or otherwise — check out our Culinary Calendar!