(picture from 2 years ago - pickle on a stick)
The Minnesota State Fair is well known for its butter sculptures, 4-H projects, concerts, huge hogs, and its midway among many other fascinating foods that come on sticks. The talk the last few weeks when mentioning the fair is always about what the person is planning on eating - corn dogs, foot longs, mini donuts, cheese curds, funnel cakes, deep fried candy bars on sticks, deep fried bacon on a stick, beer on a stick...
In the last 10 years I have probably attended the fair twice. It just doesn't thrill me like it does others. However, I have now found my very own equivalent - the Garlic Festival in Hutchinson, Minnesota. Woot! I cannot tell you enough how much I love garlic and attending a county fair dedicated to its stinky-ness is quite the treat for me.
Not only is Garlic EVERYWHERE at this fair. There is also food friendly options for dairy-free/gluten-free types - Garlic Ice Cream, Corn on the Cob with Garlic butter, Tofu Coconut Curry, Pulled Pork with Garlic Aioli, etc. The food at this fair comes from sustainable farmers and local restaurants like Birchwood, Brasa, Sen Yai Sen Lek, Common Roots. Just typing that gets me salivating! It is like a farmers market and a fair rolled into one.
Last year, I purchased some delicious gluten-free noodles from Vintage Farmer. I am not the biggest pasta fan, but these noodles were delicious. I served them at an impromptu dinner party for a few GF/DF friends and we were all really impressed. I made a point to track her down. I picked up a few more packages this year and I am waiting to break them out on a rainy day I don't feel like cooking.
(Last year's photo)
The Garlic Festival also had fabulous events for the kiddies - bowling with gigantic zucchinis, belly dancing lessons, storytelling, kite and mask making
For the adults there were cooking presentations from the awesome chefs of Birchwood, Brasa, Sen Yai Sen Lek, Common Roots, Lucia's and more.
I have several amazing friends who were working the Garlic Fair too:
Maggie and Sarah of SimplyNeutral, showcasing their AMAZINGLY clean, green and safe household cleaning products. (I love the laundry detergent and the scrub - works great on my porcelain tub and sink).
We also chatted with my friend Melissa Shelton, DVM from Crow River Animal Hospital & Dental Clinic. We both love young living essential oils for the furry friends and the multitude of uses that these powerful oils have against bugs, ticks, fleas as well as reducing stress in pets or even kennel cough or pink eye.
Garlic Festival was a blast this year and I hope you consider taking a trip to Hutchinson next year. Here are a few more pictures of the festivities.