When: Sat., Sept. 10 2011
You'll find chefs, farmers — even tiny fairies mixing it up at this weekend's Cleveland Garlic Festival on Shaker Square. But most of all, you'll find garlic: on french fries, in ice cream, and just waiting to go home with you to boost your next meal. If you're only familiar with the bitter grocery-store variety, the fresh, locally grown sort is a revelation: for its crispness, complexity, and mellow aroma. As well as showcasing the newly trendy bulb, the Garlic Fest is a fund-raiser by and for the North Union Farmers Market. Single-day adult admission is $7, and today's opening preview brunch, complete with local eggs, seasonal fruits, pastries, and mimosas, checks in at $50. "Garlic is a significant cash crop in Ohio," says NUFM founder and executive director Donita Anderson. "Both for its amazing flavor and possible health benefits, it's becoming very popular." The fest, too, is gaining national fans: Recent articles in Saveur, The Wall Street Journal, and Southwest Airlines' Spirit mag have touted the event. Also on tap are cooking demos, a parade, and plenty of live music. As for those fairies, they form the court for Miss Garlic, who will be crowned this afternoon. Today's hours are 1 to 9 p.m.; tomorrow it's noon to 6 p.m. For a complete festival rundown, check out the website. — Cicora Shaker Square, 216-751-7656, clevelandgarlicfestival.org.