Festival promotes local garlic

| 15 Feb 2012 | 09:35

Bulbs, vinegars, honey, jam and more — it's all garlic Lafayette — Who knew there were so many different types of garlic in the world? At the 10th Annual Garden State Garlic Gathering held at Olde Lafayette Village this past weekend, garlic farmers from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York gathered to display and sell 16 different varieties of garlic. Susan Sisti from Catalpa Ridge Farm in Wantage said the festival is a way of educating and promoting locally grown garlic. “People can see that there are other types of garlic besides what is found in a typical supermarket,” she said. Display boards about growing garlic, cooking with garlic and garlic diseases were set up inside the Village Hall building. And at a table visitors were offered tastes of several types of garlic. They were then encouraged to vote for their favorite. Last year’s winner was Spanish Roja, a hot-flavored hard-neck garlic that tends to be a favorite of garlic lovers. The Mastellone family of Stillwater attend the festival every year. Mitch Mastellone said they enjoy tasting different varieties and “buy what we like the best,” The garlic growers at the festival offered varieties that grow well in the northeast. This year was the first year Andrea and Brandon Blauvelt of Andover attended the festival. They were planning to purchase garlic plants to add to their vegetable garden. In addition to the unique garlic varieties, there were also garlic vinegars, locally-produced jam, honey, spreads and sauces to sample and purchase.