For the Love of the Bulb

There's a mysterious, irresistible force present in garlic — one that commands you to savor its pungent aromas lustfully, no matter the odiferous penalty to be paid later. It's a good thing, then, that at Delray Beach's Tenth Annual Garlic Fest you will be surrounded by hundreds of other people who have also given in to garlic's siren-like smells. After all, misery (or is it happiness?) loves company.

The three day festival, kicking off today at 5 p.m., doesn't just celebrate the powerful aromatic, it revels in it. For starters, check out the epic-sized Gourmet Alley, home to over three-dozen dishes doused with the titular ingredient including flaming garlic shrimp scampi, London broil with garlic chimichurri, and, or course, garlic ice cream. After a thorough acclimatization at the food tents, make your way to the vendor booths, where you can stock up on everything from pickled garlic to culinary tools to handmade jewelry. Garlic Chef Stadium will host plenty of cooking demos to teach festivalgoers to find their way around a bulb. Starting Saturday, it will also be home to both the Garlic Chef Competition and the Delray Beach Pizza Wars (the pepperoni will fly). Plus, nearly a dozen musical acts, including Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Celtic/country fiddle player Amber Leigh, and Grammy Award-winning rock band Los Lonely Boys, will take the stage throughout the weekend.

Follow your nose to Old School Square, found at 51 N. Swinton Ave. in Delray Beach. Admission costs $12, except on Sunday when it's free. Visit dbgarlicfest.com.
Feb. 13-15, 2009

 
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