This past weekend we attended the 10th Annual North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival in Orange, Massachusetts. The festival is a two day homage to the region’s agricultural, artistic, and cultural resources. It features music and dance performances, arts, crafts, and food vendors, cooking demos, renewable energy resources, nature walks, and much more on the historic Forster’s Farm. What is perhaps most impressive about this festival, organized by 15 volunteers plus 200 more for the weekend events, is that a small number of people can bring in crowds of people and leave a low impact. The festival organizers are committed to compost and recycle as much waste as possible. In 2007 only 2 bags of trash were generated for 10,000 people, if only we could all follow suit. They also offer free drinking water and toilets to boot.
2008 Garlic & Arts Festival, Orange, MA
We tried garlic Kombucha (fermented mushroom tea with origins in Russian and Asia), apple cider and apple cider doughnuts, Yassa (very delicious & traditional Senegalese dish served at Good Morning Athol Cafe), Trasimeno Mills Olive Oil (EVOO imported from Umbria, Italy), tofu dog with garlic guacamole (a rubbery defeat saved by an avocado…), and chai tea.
I can’t think of a better accompaniment to garlic than olive oil. Roast a head of garlic still wrapped in its delicate paper shell. Slice the bottom open and smear the sweet cloves on a baguette dipped in olive with a side of Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Add this to a plate of roasted Fall vegetables, and you are in for a simple yet exquisite meal.
Tuckaway Farm’s Michael Sola with Trasimeno Mills Olive Oil
Trasimeno Mills Organic Olive Oil is a particular favorite of mine and one that I recommend you try. It’s true that quality olive oil makes a big flavor impact in food, while it costs a bit more, it’s definitely worth the splurge, especially in our kitchen where I use the oil for cooking, baking, and dressing food.
My only regret is that I didn’t get to try the garlic ice cream. Maybe next time…