Garlic Festival -- Cleveland, OH

The 6th annual Cleveland Garlic Festival took place this weekend on Saturday and Sunday. Although I had planned to attended on Saturday, the all day rain put a damper on my one hour drive to Cleveland. Luckily, the rain held off on Sunday to allow us some garlic offerings.

The event takes place in Shaker Square and the proceeds from the Cleveland Garlic Festival help run the North Union Farmer's Market, which operates at several locations throughout Cleveland.

There were vendors that didn't sell garlic, but there were also plenty of farmers who sold nothing but garlic.

Our first stop was at a tent selling garlic fries -- that seemed innocuous enough. 

Morgan Mecaskey was playing during the duration of our stay at the festival, you can find out more about her music by visiting her Facebook page or website. We both enjoyed her music, she's definitely talented.

The festival was divided into two fenced off areas, you could enter either area simply by showing off your hand stamp. The area away from the music tent had more vendors as well as the wine/beer tent and the chef demo tent. 

I was pretty fascinated with the giant bulb of garlic, I thought it was a fun addition to the Garlic Festival. It certainly let you know that you were in the right place. 

GarlicMan was also wandering around the grounds and was available for photo ops. Such a wonderful defender of truth, justice and garlic. 

The Shaw High School Marching Band put on a performance early in the afternoon. When I was in marching band in high school, the Shaw High School Marching Band attended a band show that my school participated in. They have a reputation for being very disciplined and incredibly talented. It's hard to believe that these are just high school students, because their performance skills are so high. 

After watching the band for a while, we checked out the rest of the vendor tents. The Roasted Garlic Jelly from Crooked Creek Farm was surprisingly mild, I was worried that it would be aggressive, but it was just the right amount of garlic flavor. 

It was the Garlic Festival so we decided to go crazy and try the items from the Garlic Box produced by Flava Catering. We ordered the Garlic Lemonade, Garlic Chips and Garlic Chocolate Covered Strawberries.

We ducked inside the chef demo tent to enjoy our garlic fare.

The "bouquet" on our table.

The garlic chips were pretty tame, that was probably the one item in the basket that we weren't slightly terrified of. They tasted how you would expect and were nice and crunchy like homemade chips should be.

The Garlic Chocolate Covered Strawberry was not quite what I expected. I could faintly taste the garlic and it might have even been leftover from the chips I had, if someone hadn't told me there was garlic in these, I might not have been able to pick it out -- however, you could see the minced garlic pieces under the chocolate -- it was there. 

The Garlic Lemonade. It looked like regular lemonade, but it smelled very strongly of garlic, we were kind of afraid of it. I googled Garlic Lemonade and found several blogs that provided recipes for making it at home and touted its medicinal qualities to fight colds and keep pregnant women healthy.

Luckily I'm neither fighting a cold nor pregnant, but I gave it a go anyway. To tasted a little spicy kind of like it had ginger in it. I also thought it tasted similar to cider. I didn't hate it, but I didn't like it either. I certainly could not have drank more than half of the glass. One blog recommended brewing your own batch at home and drinking two to three cups a way!  

After our garlicky lunch we went back to the other set of vendors and checked out the Mighty Locavore Kids Area. Meyer Hatchery was on hand with two hens and an exhibit about raising chickens, Dave was interested in trying to make the hens photogenic.

There were chalk drawings in the kids area, of course, we were most interested in those that were garlic. 

We asked a nice family to take our picture in the cut-outs in the play area. Doesn't everybody feel the need to take photos at these to commemorate their festival experience? 

Our last garlic sample of the day was the Roasted Garlic Ice Cream from Mitchell's Homemade. 

They were nice enough to give us a spoonful before we ordered a whole bowl. The garlic flavor was pretty mild. I didn't hate it, but there's no way I could have eaten an entire bowl of the Roasted Garlic Ice Cream after imbibing on so much garlic -- if it was possible to get drunk on garlic, I was certainly over my limit. 

Dave and the Roasted Garlic Ice Cream.

I had been worried about parking, but we obtained street parking easily on S. Moreland avenue a short walk away from Shaker Square. There was a wide variety of vendors on hand, selling food (both garlic and non-garlic) as well as activities for children. We didn't get a chance to watch any demonstrations, but based on the introduction we heard of the Pasture Raised Pork and Garlic Top Chef Grill-Off Competition those sounded like fun events. Everything was very well organized and the volunteers on site were helpful.

My rating for the Cleveland Garlic Festival:


Popular posts from this blog

Today's Bride Wedding Show -- Cleveland, OH

Afternoon Tea at Coquette Patisserie -- Cleveland, OH

Velvet Tango Room -- Cleveland, OH