Gathering garlic lovers all around is the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival in Saugerties, NY. Here you can grab the many different varieties of garlic from the local farmers. Each variety ranges from heat level and after taste when eaten raw. Some of the types of garlic you can choose from are purple stripe, porcelain, rocambole, hardneck, silverskin, artichoke, creole, German red and many others. Most of the garlic farmer vendors have chopped up pieces of the garlic for attendees to the festival to sample before making their purchase. Also if you need to know more information about the garlic, the farmers are gladly happy to answer your questions.
My new favorite variety of garlic I found at the festival is Obis One’s black garlic. I have heard of black garlic a while back ago, but could never really find it in a local supermarket. The black garlic is aged and fermented raw garlic that has black cloves. It has a molasses-like sweet and savory flavor profile. The garlic is soft like dried fruit and is great to use in recipes. Obis’ garlic is organic and all natural without any additives.
In addition to the garlic you can purchase from the farmers, there are also food and business vendors using garlic in their menus and products. There are the usual foods such as garlic wings, garlic “nots,” garlic fries and many meats marinated in garlic. However in a festival such as this, I believe it is best to try the food items that would seem odd to find garlic as an ingredient. In this instance that happens to be mostly the dessert items. Here are a few things at the festival I recommend trying:
Garlic Basil Lemonade and Garlic Ginger Lemonade (Lemon Love)
Need a refresher from the food and heat? Lemon Love serves sweet tea, snow cones and lemonade. They had the more known flavors of lemonade such as strawberry, peach and blueberry mint, but also have flavors with garlic. The garlic basil lemonade had an equal balance of the garlic, basil and lemon flavors. The garlic ginger lemonade had a stronger garlic flavor that was most likely enhanced by the ginger and lemon. For the festival, Lemon Love has a special of half price refills even if you reuse a cup from a competitor’s booth. What is great about their company is that they donate $0.25 per cup sold to a local charity.
Yes that is correct…garlic in ice cream. Although an odd combination, it is creamy and has a subtle garlic flavor mixed in a vanilla base. You can see the tiny pieces of minced garlic in the ice cream. In addition to garlic ice cream, Guido’s also serves Italian ices and lemonade.
Roasted Garlic Caramels (Oliver Kita Chocolates)
Oliver Kita Chocolates offers roasted garlic caramels that give a sweet and smooth garlic caramel covered in dark chocolate and topped with sea salt. The garlic in the caramel is present, but is overpowered by the dark chocolate. They also sell other bon bons and other chocolate products.
Garlic Fudge (Udder Ideas Fudge)
Just opening the package of fudge there is no question that garlic is present as the strong aroma hits your nose. Do not let that stop you from trying the fudge. The garlic taste is softened by the creaminess of the milky fudge base. If the garlic fudge does not fancy you, Udder Ideas Fudge has twenty-five other homemade fudge flavors without garlic you can choose from. If you are unsure of what to purchase, the vendor does provide sample tastes.
For those interested in the culinary side of garlic, there are lectures and cooking demonstrations throughout the day. There is also entertainment at each of the performance stages.
Ric Orlando’s cooking demonstration
Want in on the garlic feast? There is still one last chance to get some garlic goods from this year’s festival:
Today Sunday, September 29, 2013 from 10:00am-5:00pm
Washington Avenue Extension
Saugerties, NY 12477
Parking: Free parking is located inside the middle and senior high school across the street. There is also premium on-site parking for a $10.00 charge.
Mentioned food and business vendors:
Obis One, LLC
20 Sinnickson Lane
Pennsville, NJ 08070
Various locations, NY
Oliver Kita Chocolates
18 West Market Street
Rhineback, NY 12572
Udder Ideas Fudge
820 South Road
Wurtsboro, NY 12790