Crushed, minced or roasted, garlic is a beloved ingredient in cuisines around the world. Let your mouth water as you imagine a bold bowl of pasta with garlic and olive oil in southern Italy, pungent sofritos and mofongos in Latin America and spicy Vietnamese chili-garlic sauce.
Aside from being delicious, garlic is thought to have a host of potential benefits, from warding off vampires to treating the common cold.
Fall is the prime moment to plant garlic and the right time to celebrate the creamy clove for those who care about lower-impact, seasonal eating. If you love garlic, embrace the globally beloved bulb in your own backyard at these three late summer and early fall festivals.
Southern Vermont Garlic & Herb Festival
When: August 31 and September 1, 2019
Where: Bennington, Vermont
Why: Join garlic fans from throughout New England as they sample everything from garlic ice cream to garlic jelly. Garlic braids and garlic bulbs of every variety will be available for purchase, along with planting, braiding and cooking demonstrations.
For aspiring gardeners, garlic growers, garlic-lovers or those simply looking for a fun way to spend a Vermont end-of-summer day, the event promises something for everyone. Wander the spacious lawns sampling garlic delicacies to the sound of live music. Face painting and inflatable fun jumps should keep the kids entertained.
Tickets cost $8 online and $10 at the gate.
How to get there: Take the bus to Albany and switch to the Vermont Shires Connector to Bennington. You may also ride Amtrak to the Rensselaer Station and catch the Shires Connector just outside the station.
Long Island Garlic Festival
When: September 14 and 15, 2019
Where: Garden of Eve Organic Farm and Market, Riverhead, Long Island
Why: Long Island’s only garlic festival is a two-day feast of flavor. Enjoy a variety of freshly grown organic garlic, garlic-infused treats, cooking demos, crafts, music and garlic-growing workshops. Champion eaters will want to participate in the garlic-eating contest. Enjoy the farm’s hayrides, pumpkin picking and farm animals.
Admission is $10.
How to get there: Take the Jitney to Riverhead and a short Uber or Lyft ride to the farm.
Hudson Valley Garlic Festival
When: September 28 and 29, 2019
Where: Saugerties, NY
Why: Journey to the majestic Catskill Mountains and get friendly with scores of unusual varieties of locally grown garlic. The toothsome smell of sizzling cloves will perfume the air as chefs prepare their favorite garlicky recipes for you to sample. Lectures by culinary herbalist, organic garlic farmers and horticulturalists should inspire everyone to forgo sweet breath and get into the salubrious habit of growing and consuming plentiful quantities of this healthy bulb. A children’s craft tent with pumpkin decorating should be a hit with the youngest garlic lovers. A garlic marketplace, live discussions with farmers, music and dance round out the weekend.
Daily admission is $10, cash only, at the gate.
How to get there: Pinehill Trailways bus from Port Authority gets you to Saugerties in two hours. There’s a free trolley from the town’s center to the festival entrance.
Allison is a native New Yorker, who has lived in Rome, Tuscany, Melbourne, Toronto and Los Angeles. She frequently contributes travel pieces to Family Travel Forum, using her own children as guinea pigs as they travel the globe. She is fluent in Italian and Spanish and laughably adequate in French. Her background as an Early Childhood Educator gives her an added understanding of what it takes to travel with kids in tow. She firmly believes that the most important part of education takes place outside of the classroom, on the road, around the world. She never misses a chance to sample local delicacies, as her love for travel goes hand-in-hand with her love for food and wine. Follow Allison at @gourmetrav.