I had to laugh when I received Volume 18 (Fall 2008 edition) of the Virginia Garlic Festival Association’s newsletter yesterday. The banner shows a clove of garlic emitting Pepe Le Pew-esque fumes, which drift lazily across the word FOG in big capital letters. Translation: Friends of Garlic.
The headline news this quarter is the Virginia Garlic Festival, which is coming up October 11 and 12 at Rebec Vineyards in Amherst. Now, I’m just joking about the stinky thing. I love cooking with garlic and eating garlic, and I can’t imagine that the smell of this festival would in any way rival the West Virginia Ramp Festival.
I had never heard of the Garlic Festival, which is in its 18th year this fall. It includes a garlic cook-off and contests for Garlic King and Queen and Garlic Junior Queen. There are also the requisite arts and crafts, live music, games, food, a wine tasting and products for sale.
Of course, it’s the cook-off that really got my attention. The first place winner of last year’s contest was our very own Jane Wolford of Vinton, who placed with her Sweet Italian Garlic Chowder. Other winners made Truffled Mushroom Risotto with Roasted Garlic and Sundried Tomatoes, and BBQ Garlic Shrimp and grits. Yum!