MN Garlic Festival 8/15: No Vampires, Guaranteed!

Image Credit: Mette NielsenImage Credit: Mette Nielsen

When I started writing about local food five months ago, several people asked me about the Garlic Festival. "You'll be there, right?" they asked, as though there was only one answer. "Um, sure," I answered, wondering what in the heck the MN Garlic Festival was. Now that I know, I'm excited to bring my family. Here's what it says on the GarlicFest website:

Minnesota Garlic Festival [presented by the Sustainable Farming Association of MN] is the premier event for lovers of garlic and good times, promoting gourmet garlic farming in Minnesota. Family friendly, fun filled and fragrant, this festival features local foods, chefs, music, artisans, games, competitions, and lots of garlic - all in support of a healthy environment, sustainable farms and vital rural communities in Minnesota.

Minnesota garlic growers will have their fresh 2009 gourmet garlic available, and it can keep in your kitchen for up to a year!  There are over 100 varieties of garlic grown here, all planted in October, harvested in July, and cured to perfection just in time for the festival. Other than the great taste, it is well documented that garlic is one of the healthiest foods you can eat.

The Garlic Festival offers a unique culinary experience with a cadre of renowned Minnesota chefs converging at the festival cafe, “The Great 'Scape", and a sumptuous selection of celebrity chefs will present cooking demonstrations on the main stage throughout the day.

The site also promises loads of fun activites for kids of all ages, and I expect there'll be a few things to eat for people who aren't as fond of garlic as I am as well. (I'm just not sure those people are going to want to smell my breath.)

Here are the details:

Most of what I've heard about the festival has been focused on The Great Scape Cafe, a restaurant within the fairgrounds (organized by Greg Reynolds of Riverbend Organic Farm) featuring some of the best local food chefs/restaurants in town (Birchwood Cafe, Lucia's, Good Life Catering, etc.). Apparently the line is outrageous, but the food is well worth the wait.

I hope to see you there!

Image Credit: Mette NielsenImage Credit: Mette Nielsen