CLOVE LOVE: California pretty much has a food festival for every single vegetable and fruit grown within her fair borders and sometimes multiple festivals for a single foodstuff. Yep, we're thinking of avocados and strawberries, which seem to be feted somewhere pretty much every month of the year 'round the state. This all means that for a Golden State food festival to make national headlines it has to a) be quirky b) be well-attended and c) be delicious. The Gilroy Garlic Festival wins on all three of those counts and it adds a d) It has been around for well over three decades. We also have a theory that garlic is such an unusual flavor, hard to repeat via any other foods, that fans'll show in droves for it. So, what does all of this add up to? One mega party from Friday, July 27 through Sunday, July 29. And garlic obsessives, here's today's heat-filled news: Tickets are now on sale.
SHOULD YOU GET 'EM? Sure, if you want to save a couple of bucks ahead of time. No one is against that, we've found. If you've been you know what to expect -- keep hydrated, bring a hat, and plan on tasting a lot of different spicy dishes -- but here are a few things we remember. One? The very cold beer served in metal mugs was the perfect counterpoint the the clove-y heat coursing through most every dish. Two? You do want definitely have the garlic ice cream. Three? We're a fan of the deep-fried cloves, but split 'em with a pal; a few go a long way. And four? If you need shade there's a clutch of redwoods on the grounds; seek 'em out to cool you down. Gilroy in July matches the warm nature of the garlic clove, a pairing that works well. Still, shade, SPF, and water are key.