Welcome to the Gilroy Garlic Festival. This festival celebrates the 'Stinking Rose". This rose is pungent, goes great in food and sometimes known as garlic. Gilroy, California hosts this yearly extravaganza featuring, cooking contests, musical entertainment, lots & lots of garlic flavored food and this year had a full fledged Kansas City Barbecue Society four meat barbecue competition. Ms. Goofy and I were privileged to be able to attend and wear our shiny judging badge credentials. Grab a chair and have a look because we are going to eat some garlic.
Twenty teams competed this contest. It was a standard four meat contest that consisted of chicken, ribs, pork shoulder and brisket. Today we also had an auxiliary category which the competitors had to incorporated garlic into their turn-in entry. The competition area was situated in a far corner of the festival. It was a small area that the teams found to be very cozy. The competitors also had to load in Thursday or early/late Friday to accommodate this three day event; evident by this pup-tent. Needless to say they had plenty of room to create some of the best bbq meats and garlic dishes in the nation. The auxiliary category was a lot of fun. Add garlic to lobster, lamb, crostini, creme brulee, cake and a whole lot more were some of our pungent entries.
The weather was pleasant with temperatures in the 80's. The skies were a little smoky not because of bbq fire but an out of control forest fire in a neighboring county. This did not dampen the spirits of the garlic challenged public. This is a very popular event and attracts the masses. In the image above you can see over a 100 people in line waiting for a chance to sample free garlic ice cream. I did not brave the line this year but can attest it does taste like sweet creamy garlic. There were cooling tents to provide a cooling mist of refreshments if you felt heated.
Would you like a little meat with your garlic? I am not even going to attempt to list all the garlic food offerings. Garlic lovers were in heaven today. There was a garlic recipe cook-off that attracts some very talented cooks. They had a separate stage for cooking demonstrations..There was a booth offering hands on instructions for garlic braiding. After you have had your garlic fill you could stroll through the vendor areas to find crafts for sale. I picked up some garlic hot sauce.
What a fantastic garlic day? Congratulations to the competition team of 'Burnin and Lootin BBQ Team' for winning the Grand Championship.We were very happy the Garlic Festival added a bbq contest. The Stinking Rose and BBQ shared the spotlight today. It is time to find some breath mints.