Eau de Garlic

To some, a "nosh" means grabbing a leftover chicken wing or a hunk of salami, but for those who relish the tantalizing taste and splendiferous smell of garlic, the "Fifth Annual Garlic Festival" serves up unbelievable garlic-filled snacks and more. Two city blocks and Old School Square -- where the festivities take place -- should maintain a particularly pungent odor that will lead you to the area, in case you aren't sure where to park.

Some spicy treats awaiting you are garlic chicken in a pita, London broil with garlic chimichurri sauce, flaming calamari, roasted garlic pork sandwich, garlic stir-fry chicken with rice and veggies, and other delectable dishes that include gobs of garlic. True garlic aficionados won't be disappointed, and beginners are at the right place at the right time. One can even savor garlic ice cream, certainly a must for garlic connoisseurs and those who want to try a different kind of taste treat.

Bud Conlan, owner of Italian Rose Garlic Products Inc., a garlic fest sponsor, says walking through the area where food is prepared gives the public a good idea of what goes on in restaurant kitchens.

During the festivities, there will be rides and live entertainment for kids; K-9 demonstrations by the police department; Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach county chefs' cooking demonstrations; and the judging of professional and amateur recipe contests. Added this year is a fine-wine garden for sipping or buying by the bottle. Students from Toussaint L'Ouverture High School for Art & Social Justice sell paintings, read poetry, and present an educational program about garlic. The students also screen an award-winning film, Garlic Is as Good as Ten Mothers.

Saturday and Sunday's main attraction is the garlic chef competition. Sean Brasel of Touch Restaurant, Michael Blum of Michael's Kitchen, Johnny Vinczencz of Sundy House, and Michael Dunn of Italian Rose Garlic Products compete for the title of competitive winner.

Delray's presentation has grown from a two-day event with local entertainment to a three-day fest filled with a number of headliners, including Son of Man, the Atlantic Rhythm Section, and former Bad Company lead singer Brian Howe. On Saturday, check out AmericaManta Native Flute Music, Billy Bones, Zen Dog, Andy Childs, and the Little River Band. Finally, Sunday's lineup features AmericaManta Native Flutes, Zack Ziskin, the Fabulous Fleetwoods, and Three Dog Night.

Botanists believe that garlic was one of the first plants to be domesticated. Ancient garlic remains have been found in caves inhabited 10,000 years ago. Today, about 200 varieties of garlic are grown around the world. Garlic has even been used to disinfect wounds and treat illnesses from cholera to cancer. So in whatever form, eat garlic plentifully! The odor might chase away your illness.

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Sue Lynn