We went to Toronto’s first ever Garlic Festival at Brickworks with high hopes – to be met with disappointment. To start off, the $5 admission fee is reasonable, but feels a bit steep considering most food festival events in the city are free.
Arriving half an hour after the official “start”, many stands were still scrambling to setup. On offer were many, many types of garlic, in braids, bunches, bags and by the pound. In addition, there were garlic pickles, spreads, sauces and jellies – some even shilled by Top Chef’s Rob Rossi.
Of the items available to eat we chose Incredible Spice’s dosas with chutney. These were delicious and much more interesting than the crepes and samosas available at other stands.
We were there mostly to check out the garlic oddities, like garlic fudge and ice cream. The garlic fudge was surprisingly pleasant, sweet with a nice savoury garlicky taste, which took away the usual “I’m eating a block of solidified icing” feeling that fudge usually provokes.
The ice cream was by Ed’s Real Scoop and offered as a single scoop of chocolate-garlic ice cream for $3. It tasted basically like… chocolate with a very very faint (possibly imagined) garlic aftertaste. This was a letdown for us garlic fiends.
Another miss was the chocolate molé sauce served on fresh corn tortillas by ChocoSol. We tried a free sample with a corn chip and all three of us disliked it.
With so much garlic around, we thought it would be neat to try a sampler bag. We went with the $8 for 6 from Reicza’s Rocamboles, which included 2 of Music-Hardneck, Legacy-Rocambole, and Metechi-Purple Stripe. Now each of these varieties were tasty and garlicky in their own way (M even sampled each one raw) but… AN ENTIRE BULB WAS ROTTEN. Not even the “gone bad in the fridge” rotten, but to the extent that it was shriveled and worms were crawling around inside.
So what can I say? Despite the highlights, the Toronto Garlic Festival was a bust.
Sunday morning, September 25, 2011.
Toronto Garlic Festival