Dan Schaumann

Official site of avid traveller and singer/songwriter, Dan Schaumann. Debut album "A Thousand Days Beneath The Sun" out now on CD and iTunes.

Garliced out at the Toronto Garlic Festival

3 Comments »

September 21st, 2014 Posted 10:25 pm

Way back in 2009 while living & working in London, my delightful colleagues and I embarked on a team night out to Garlic & Shots, a restaurant in Soho that serves no meal without said ingredient. I recall ordering a pasta dish (the sauce of which was absolutely piled with the spicy white clove) and washing it down with a garlic beer before rounding off the feast with a huge bowl of garlic ice cream. That’s not to mention the shot of garlic honey vodka we sampled in the Swedish gothic metal bar below the dining room. I never thought I’d ever experience so much garlic in one sitting again.

Well, I’m pleased to announce today was the day I broke my garlic consumption personal best by a long shot, thanks to the Toronto Garlic Festival. Held annually at the picturesque Don Valley Brickworks, the festival celebrates the harvest of garlic throughout the province of Ontario. With around 80 exhibitors taking part in this year’s festival, punters were spoilt for choice when it came to the sheer variety of the bulb available for purchase, garlic-themed cooking demonstrations and garlic-inspired culinary delights – both savoury and sweet.

My afternoon at the event began at the garlic sampling booth, where friendly festival staff spent their time peeling & crushing ‘shots’ of raw Ontarian garlic into the hands of whoever dared to try. There was also lemon & parsley on hand to add some zest to the fiery mouthful.

 

Toronto Garlic Festival-1

 

Toronto Garlic Festival-2

 

I took a shot and explored the busy marketplace a little, eventually settling upon a cup of this delicious 4,000 Clove Organic Garlic Soup – the first of what was to be many samples of garlicy cuisine throughout the day. It wasn’t overpowering at all; the ingredients were perfectly balanced. I wish I asked them for the recipe.

 

Toronto Garlic Festival-3

 

I felt extra macho and went back for a second shot of raw garlic.

 

Toronto Garlic Festival-4

 

Such garlicy mess!

 

Toronto Garlic Festival-5

 

One of the many farmers stalls set up to celebrate Ontarian garlic. These guys were from the Brant Country Garlic Company:

 

Toronto Garlic Festival-6

 

Who ever thought garlic braiding was a thing?

 

Toronto Garlic Festival-7

 

I tried a gourmet corn tortilla – this included beans, cheese, greens and salsa on a freshly-cooked tortilla full of roasted garlic within the dough. The garlic flavour wasn’t all that prominent, but the wrap was altogether well worth the $4 I spent on it.

 

Toronto Garlic Festival-8

 

Man, it was busy. There was a much greater turnout than I ever could have expected there to be at a garlic festival.

 

Toronto Garlic Festival-9

 

Next on the menu was a light refreshment in the way of a black garlic truffle from Laura Slack Chocolate Artist. Weren’t these just divine! I bought two of them; the sweet relish of the infused syrup proved nowhere near as intimidating as their black skull-like appearance.

 

Toronto Garlic Festival-10

 

Morgan’s On The Danforth were putting on a cooking demonstration so I stopped by to watch for a few minutes. They were serving up a pasta dish using five different vegetables (plus garlic, of course). I didn’t get to try any but it looked pretty fancy:

 

Toronto Garlic Festival-11

 

Here’s a Roasted Garlic Elk & Lamb Pie from Globe Bistro:

 

Toronto Garlic Festival-12

 

Of all the recipes on offer, I was most excited about trying the garlic coffee from Incredible Spice, especially seeing as it was described as a warm garlic infused spiced coffee with maple cream and pumpkin vanilla dust. It was in hot demand located right by the market’s entrance, taking nearly 10 minutes to get my hands on a serving. Although it sounded incredible in theory, I instead quickly concluded that garlic is not likely to become a staple ingredient in my coffee any time soon.

 

Toronto Garlic Festival-13

 

The friendly folk at Cedar Grove Organic Farm suggested a bulb of Ontario Music Garlic as an ingredient in my spaghetti bolognese sauce (which I have since cooked and thoroughly enjoyed):

 

Toronto Garlic Festival-14

 

I went back to the sample booth for my third and final shot of garlic. My mouth hurt a little after devouring that one.

I wasn’t finished yet though – for dessert, I couldn’t go past a serving of Magic Oven’s Garlic Apple French Toast with Crème Fraîche. I think I was becoming desensitised to the flavour of garlic by now. The French Toast was indeed as appetising as it looked, but I could barely make out the spice in amongst the sweetness.

 

Toronto Garlic Festival-15

 

By this stage I was pretty well garliced out. I was ready to call it a day… and then I saw Le Dolci’s garlic macaroons. Wow.

 

Toronto Garlic Festival-16

 

Ok, I totally would have gone the ice cream as well but it sold out by the time I made it to the stall 🙁

 

Toronto Garlic Festival-17

 

Tony V was easily winning the Ontario Science Centre garlic breath contest with a reading of 17 parts hydrogen sulphide per billion! I wanted to try it out but it took 10 minutes to recalibrate the machine after every use, and there was already a substantial line up.

 

Toronto Garlic Festival-18

 

The many varieties of garlic on offer throughout the marketplace:

 

Toronto Garlic Festival-19

 

What a great idea for a festival that was. I fully encourage other cities around the globe to take inspiration from Toronto and put on their own garlic festival.

I may be all garliced out right now, but I’ll definitely come back next year for more 😀

 

Toronto Garlic Festival-20

Tags: , , ,

This entry was posted on Sunday, September 21st, 2014 at 10:25 pm and is filed under Blog, Canada, Food, Travel. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

3 Responses to “Garliced out at the Toronto Garlic Festival”

  1. Yo
    11:01 pm on September 21st, 2014

    Did they have any garlic chewing gum?

  2. Dan Schaumann
    11:30 pm on September 21st, 2014

    This crossed my mind before I got there! But there was none. I wonder if anyone has ever made garlic chewing gum?

  3. Yo
    11:43 pm on September 21st, 2014

    That’s an idea for a stall at next year’s festival!

Leave a Reply