Eat Garlic and Learn More about the Diverse Cultures Who Love It at the Toronto Garlic Festival This SundayWritten by Chelby Daigle
The Toronto Garlic Festival is taking place this Sunday, September 15th, at Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Street, in Toronto, from 9 am to 5 pm. Rain or shine. Admission is $5.00.
The festival is in its 9th year and gives people a chance to experience fresh Ontario garlic as well as learn about the various uses of the plant-including how garlic can be used in desserts!
Incorporated as a not-for-profit in 2017, the Festival operates on a triple bottom line: "People, Planet, Profit". All revenue is applied to operating costs including venue rental, public relations and marketing. Except for paid staff on the day of the festival, the festival is a volunteer run event.
Festival visitors can stock up on their winter supply of fresh garlic, with over 50 varieties grown by Ontario farmers to choose from. You can also taste delicious garlic-themed food. You can buy garlic-themed products while listening to live music, enjoy festival screenings, participate in educational talks, get a free garlic shot from a garlic barista, enjoy grilled garlic scapes, have your breath measured in the parts-per-billion in the garlic breath contest, attend art workshops and cooking demos.
Educational experiences include a virtual reality tour of an Ontario garlic farm, workshops on bee-keeping-including making garlic honey, and on growing your own garlic in the city (ie on balconies).
The festival was founded by garlic grower Peter McClusky, who also wrote the book "Ontario Garlic: From Farm to Festival" because he wanted to provide an opportunity for garlic lovers to experience Ontario garlic as a great deal of the garlic available in regular grocery stores is imported.
McClusky stated in an interview with the Toronto Sun, "Especially in these polarizing times, garlic and the Garlic Festival has proven to be a surprisingly harmonious and unifying bright bulb for people from every cultural background."
In an interview with the Traveling Mitch blog, McClusky also stated that "When I think of Toronto I think of diverse cultures, and I’m reminded of the fact that we’re the most ethnically diverse city in the world, with half of the population born outside of Canada. Toronto is home to 200 ethnic groups and where 140 languages are spoken. When I think of garlic I similarly think of all the cultures that use garlic. It’s logical therefore, to think of Toronto as one of the most appropriate places to host a garlic festival."
To learn more about the Toronto Garlic Festival, visit their website here.
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