We've got a pair of tickets to give away to Garlic Fest, the quirky Delray Beach event that celebrates the odiferous vegetable.
Why celebrate a flavor that keeps away vampires and ensures trench mouth breath that rivals the taste of stale cigarettes?
Like other maligned foods, garlic has an interesting history. Though garlic was found in the U.S. as early the 1700s, its popularity bumped in the '20s, with the influx of immigrants from Europe. China is the biggest international producer of garlic, while California and Oregon grow the most garlic in the U.S.
Garlic is more complex than the one type offered at the grocery store. It branches in ten varietals, such as the earthy rocambole
with browned skin; artichoke garlic that's the what you see in Publix; and the photogenic creole garlic that's among the
most mild. During a tasting, garlic is ranked according to three characteristics: flavor, pungency, and aftertaste. Garlic lovers who've tasted varieties compare it to trying a chili
pepper, with references to peaks and how the heat of raw garlic unfurls.
More diverse variations of garlic became available in the U.S. after 1989, when folks from the USDA and other domestic groups were finally able to trek through Eastern Europe and Russia to buy varieties they had been eying that hadn't been accessible. Over the past 20 years, these varieties have made
their way into the farms and specialty stores.
This weekend at Delray Beach Garlic Festival, chefs will offer garlic ice cream
and pizzas in demos. They'll also face off in garlic competitions all weekend
long. On the main stage, G. Love and Special Sauce play on Saturday night along with dozens of other performers throughout the weekend.
To win a pair of tickets for Saturday or Sunday -- a $20 value -- tell us in the comments about your favorite garlicky dish and where we can find it. We'll choose the most delicious and interesting description on Thursday afternoon. Be sure to include your email so we can contact you when you win.