Weekend Adventures: The Gilroy Garlic Festival

This weekend, after making banana bread (lots of banana bread and two recipes tomorrow) for my cousins and sister coming to visit, we checked out the local 33rd Annual Gilroy Garlic Festival. Despite living in only about 45 minutes away for the last 4 years, I have still never been before.

More Banana Bread recipes tomorrow!

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE garlic. Raw, roasted, juiced (ooooh yeah! It’s good), diced, sauteed, crushed, baked, garlic on everything. I love it. So when my cousins wanted to come visit and go to the festival, I was definitely ready check out the Gilroy Garlic Festival.

I guess the festival would have been worth going to except it turned out it wasn’t. It was fun to be with my cousins and to finally say that I’ve gone to the Garlic Festival, but in reality, the pictures were the best part of the whole event.

To get into the festival it was $17 a person. Not only is that a LOT of money to attend a community event, but nothing was included in this price except for one entrance. There were no samples of foods, garlic memorabilia, anything free. I take that back, we did get a sample of mini vanilla-garlic ice cream cones, but that was it.

Speaking of garlic ice cream, it was delicious. But that, sadly, was the only thing that was tasty.

I’m not a cheap person but I am someone who would like my money’s worth of what I pay for. This was just not it. $17 to enter the festival, $6 for beer or wine (small cups), $5-7 for anything food related, regardless of how small or large the serving, $6 for a bottle of water.

I could see having to pay more for the food for a cheaper entrance fee but come on, that’s just a rip off. We didn’t even find much in the way of garlicy food items, which was disappointing. I mean, there were garlic fries, garlic bread, garlic shrimp and such, but there were more food choices without garlic in any part of the dish.

We ended up trying garlic-battered frog legs and roasted kangaroo (had to try the most exotic thing there). Again, 3 TINY pieces of chewy, overcooked, unsalted and lacking flavor kangaroo for $5.

I got some scampy which would have been good if it were salted at all or if the calamari included in the tiny bowl wasn’t tough as a shoe. Literally. Again, disappointing.

There were some cooking demos and garlic cook-off shows throughout the weekend, which probably were good (we didn’t see any). There were local vendors showing off their cooking skills and culinarily flame-throwing, which was pretty cool… um,very hot… but overall, I would have rather spent the time (and money) barbequing by my pool.

I think I’m a food snob now. Being able to cook and bake the way I like with the flavors and textures I enjoy has kind of made me look at food differently, enjoy it differently, taste it differently. I almost like making my own food better than going out to eat now… depending on the restaurant.

Anyone else feel this way? For those of you who like to cook, are you finding yourself critiquing your meals? Ug, the curse of cooking well…

Enough of the downer post, have a wonderful day! Happy Monday! Are you ready for your week??? Are you ready for more banana bread recipes? Two, actually… And I was told that they are the best tasting banana bread ever. Just saying…

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