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Tuesday 16 August 2011

Newchurch Garlic Festival, Isle of Wight

The Sluts are getting all Transylvanian (think more Twilight-style goth-chic than pasty pale blood-hounds with a bad attitude) at the thought of the upcoming Garlic Festival over on the Isle of Wight – being held this coming weekend (20 – 21 August 2011) in Newchurch. The Festival will be open 10am – 6pm daily and tickets are £8 for adults; £5 for children (under 5s free). A family ticket will set you back £22.

The Festival is in its 26th year, and attracts over 25,000 people every summer.

The Garlic Festival certainly seems like pure foodie heaven – it's the largest undercover festival on the Island, and features cooking demonstrations, plenty of tastings, lots of local produce for sale, an ale tent, tea tent, cider bar and, of course, PLENTY of garlic!

Now you may be wondering what there can possibly be enough things about garlic (other than eating it) to keep one amused for more than 20 minutes, let alone two days! Well, there's a lot more to these nifty little bulbs than meets the eye!

There are said to be more than 600 types of garlic being grown all over the world. Garlic is (generally speaking) divided into two kinds; hard-necked and soft-necked. Hard-necked garlic is generally more colourful , with a fewer number of larger bulbs. Soft-neck garlic doesn't keep as long as the hard-necked variety, and has a larger number of smaller bulbs.

When it comes to types, the list is seemingly endless. One of the most unusual is black garlic. Not actually a type all its own, the black garlic is created through a fermentation process using adult garlic cloves. Black garlic is sweeter and has a more velvety texture than its paler counterparts.

Other rather splendid-sounding types include:
  • Purple Stripe
  • Silverskin
  • Creole
  • Elephant
  • Purple Moldorian ... and many more!
As well as all the food-tastic stalls and demonstrations that this year's Garlic Festival has to offer, there's live music, a range of quality arts and crafts, various child-friendly activities as well as the Island's biggest annual fun fair.

According to the organisers, the festival promises a "late 60s pop festival ambience" combined with a country fair feel. Sounds right up our street!

Who's for some garlic ice cream?

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