In my humble opinion, garlic is one of the best things to happen to food!
Originating from Central Asia, garlic was first cultivated 7000 years ago for cooking and medicinal purposes. While the Ancient Egyptians apparently fed garlic to the Great Pyramid builders because they believed it made people stronger, the Ancient Chinese used garlic to protect themselves from the plague.
Although some cultures embraced the awesomeness of garlic, other groups weren’t as welcoming. For example, when garlic was first introduced to North America, it was looked down on because it was seen as an ethnic, working class ingredient.
Thankfully, garlic is now widely loved and grown across Canada and the States! While I’ve never tried garlic from other parts of North America, I know for a fact that Ontario garlic is AH-MAZING.
I was first introduced to Ontario garlic a few years back when Davey’s aunt gave us some garlic bulbs from her garden. It’s amazing how flavourful and huge Ontario garlic cloves are! Ever since trying Ontario garlic for the first time, it’s been very difficult to go back to imported garlic from China.
To celebrate the deliciousness of Ontario garlic, Yoan, Davey and I checked out the Toronto Garlic Festival last month. The festival took place at the Evergreen Brick Works and brought together garlic lovers, chefs, farmers, as well as local breweries.
We kicked-off the event with Amsterdam Brewery’s Harvest Ale, which is a delicious ale that uses fresh cascade hops picked from a farm in Collingwood. To ensure freshness, the hops are added to the brewing process within four hours of being picked off the vines!
One thing I was really excited to try was black garlic, which is garlic that’s slowly roasted under 60°C heat for about six weeks. Ultimately, this process breaks down the sugars in garlic and gives it a sweet, caramelized flavour. One of the stalls had mixed some black garlic into a tub of cream cheese and it was seriously delicious! Another stall had some black garlic brownies, which sounds weird but the sweetness of the garlic went really well with chocolate.
Some pics from the festival:
Garlic entry stamp.
I really wanted Yoan to buy this. She didn’t.
Exploring the rest of the Brick Works since it’s such an awesome space!
Garlic goodness! Looking forward to next year’s festival already!