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Who the heck is she? Hint – it’s 1982…

Welcome back, my friends – and happy National Garlic Day!

Ever since I found out that April is National Garlic Month (and today, the 19th, is National Garlic Day), I’ve wondered why.

After all, it’s a summer crop, and around here (and even 100 miles away in Gilroy, “The Garlic Capital of the World”), those notoriously aromatic little bulbs don’t mature until July or so.

(Just imagine celebrating pumpkins in July, or chocolate bunnies in January. Pretty much the same thing!)


Nice, fat garlic heads with nice, fat cloves!

I think I’ve figured it out, though.

Now that garlic is so deeply entrenched in the American food scene that our best-known fast-food chain (just think “golden arches”) serves up “Gilroy Garlic Fries,” we need a looooong head start toward gearing up for all the garlic-themed galas, here in the U.S. and abroad.



NationalGarlicDay.com has corralled them into a very long list, starting in June with festivals in St. Louis and Washington state.


Choose garlic heads that feel heavy for their size – they’ll be fresher and juicier.


The Gilroy Garlic Festival, granddaddy of them all, honors “The Stinking Rose” this year from Friday through Sunday, July 26-28. More on that in a bit, as I share my own personal connection with the Festival…


An extra-special, extra-flavorful batch of red garlic.

Smash the cloves with a knife; cut off root end and remove skin.


August brings events in Oregon, Minnesota, Cleveland, Ontario (Canada, not California), and even “across the pond” on the Isle of Wight, UK. Then “garlic season” winds down during September and October in Vermont, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New York.


With a sharp knife, chop the peeled garlic cloves – coarse, fine, whatever you like or whatever your recipe calls for – or squeeze them through a garlic press.


Slogans such as “It’s Chic to Reek” have always brought a splash of whimsy to the world of garlic. So it’s no surprise that “Eat, Drink, Stink!” would be the Easton, Pennsylvania motto, or that New York’s Hudson Valley would call itself “The Gilroy of the Northeast”!


Here’s my favorite thing to do with the tiny garlic cloves from the center of the head. After I use the large outer cloves for other dishes, I save the little ones until there’s enough for me to cook with a batch of baby potatoes, adding just olive oil, salt, a touch of broth or water, and maybe some rosemary. Everything gets soft and tender at the same time, and the flavors are incredible!

So, what was that about “my own personal connection with the Gilroy Garlic Festival”?

Well, it turns out that I pretty much have the Festival to thank for launching me into this food-and-wine career that I love so much.

Curious? Okay. You saw the photo (top right)…

So, in my next post, we’ll pick up where we left off – and I’ll fill in all the blanks for you. Fair enough?

Not only will I connect the dots between yours truly and the Gilroy Garlic Festival, but I’ll also share my new recipe – Rosina’s Rosemary-Orange Aioli With Garlic Two Ways – with you.

See you soon for more garlic goodies!

Until then,
Cheers and happy tastings,


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