Those of you familiar with our restaurants are probably aware that our chef’s top priorities include supporting local farmers and eating local. What you may not know is that this stems all the way down the ingredient list – all the way to the seasonal preserves, including garlic!
The garlic harvest is one of the biggest and tastiest events to grace our two-acre vegetable garden. The annual reap provides enough fresh garlic to last the kitchen all year long! Both the cloves and the tender green tops are used in a variety of dishes we serve in our restaurants. Our gardeners are currently planting for our spring harvest that will supply enough garlic for all of next year!
At the end of September, Toronto hosted it’s 3rd annual Garlic Festival at the Evergreen Brickworks. The event attracted garlic lovers, growers and chefs from across the province to come out and taste local Ontario grown garlic. Check out some of the dishes we sampled below!
While many of us are aware of the flavour and health benefits of garlic – this little herb* has a few lesser-known secrets:
- Garlic is considered to be both a herb and a vegetable
- The smell of garlic can be removed by running your hands under cold water while rubbing a stainless steel object
- There are over 70 strains of garlic grown in Ontario over 2,500 acres
- 68% of Ontario’s garlic is imported from China
- In many cultures it is tradition to plant garlic on the shortest day of the year. It is not known whether this tradition is for symbolic or practical reasons
- Many people cook garlic wrong! Garlic should sit at room temperature immediately after crushing or chopping to allow for maximum health benefits
- The city of Chicago is actually named after garlic. The Native American word “Chicagaoua” means “wild garlic”
- Garlic is mentioned 21 times in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.