Many years ago, I was driving with my future husband to Santa Cruz, California late at night. As we were passing through a little town on Highway 101, an interesting aroma filled the car. I glanced at him. He glanced at me. Finally after about 10 minutes of glancing and wondering, I casually said, “Do you smell something?”
Indeed he had. “What the heck IS that?” “It REALLY smells like garlic!”
The smell remained a mystery that evening, but while driving back the other direction a few days later in the daylight, that pungent smell led us to a sign: Gilroy- Garlic Capital of the World!!
Gilroy, California grows lots of garlic. As a matter of fact, its largest employer is Christopher Ranch, the supplier of Garlic Jim’s Famous Gourmet Pizza’s amazing roasted garlic that adorns many of its pizzas.
Gilroy has made a name for itself not only for its garlic production, but for its garlic festival that has been held every year since 1979. This eclectic and fun filled event has been growing each year and boasts almost every kind of garlic food that you can think of including garlic ice cream! It lasts for three days and even has stars from the Food Network on hand. The Gilroy Garlic Festival naturally has a Garlic Festival Queen and Queen’s court. These young ladies are judged on their talent, a personal interview, an on stage question, and of course- a garlic speech. So start writing yours if you are garlicy kind of gal who is between the ages of 18-24 who would like to try out for this next year!
This year’s festival is July 28-30. If you are anywhere near Gilroy, just follow your nose- you will find it!
Ciao for now!