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Register here to be added to the Ontario Garlic Map: https://forms.gle/3qqXGuM5TbGy7otYA
Q: What is Ontario Garlic Week?
A: Ontario Garlic Week will feature Ontario food establishments that serve at least one dish using local garlic. It will promote the consumption of local garlic and will run from [DATE].
Q: Who can participate in Ontario Garlic Week?
A: Any person or place offering a garlic-themed talk, community activity or cooking demo or, creating a garlic dish or beverage. If you’re selling food, you must be an Ontario-based food establishment or person that complies with all applicable laws pertaining to the preparation and sale of food.
Q: We don’t sell food, how can we participate?
A: Museums, libraries, garden centres and other companies or entities that have a connection to garlic are welcome to participate. For example, to give a talk on garlic from their location or a cooking demo.
Q: Can we participate online during Ontario Garlic Week, such as to give a cooking demo?
A: Yes, you can. Please contact us to discuss details.
Q: We don’t have a restaurant. Can we still participate in Ontario Garlic Week?
A: Yes. You can sell food from a food truck, bicycle food truck, kiosk, farmers market stand, or other means, as long as you are legally permitted to do so.
Q: Can we set our own prices on the garlic items we sell during Ontario Garlic Week?
A: Yes, you can set your own price.
Q: What do we need to do, to participate in Ontario Garlic Week?
A: Use Ontario grown garlic in at least one savoury or sweet dish, or drink. You can offer a prixe fixed garlic themed menu, with a starter, a main and a dessert. Or, you can sell just one garlic themed item. It could be a starter, or a main, a dessert, or a drink.
Q: We’re at a farmers’ market. Can we participate in Ontario Garlic Week?
A: Yes, as long as the market is open when Ontario Garlic Week is happening.
Q: Garlic and desserts? How does that work?
A: The most common step in prepping garlic for a dessert is to roast it. Roasting caramelizes the sugar and produces a mellow version of garlic flavour; it does not produce the strong allicin flavour we associate with garlic. Once roasted, the garlic will have a nutty, almost caramel flavour. Its smell and taste is reminiscent of chocolate. Black garlic adds another dimension to the possibilities of using garlic in dessert. Ontario-made black garlic products include black garlic vanilla and black garlic vinegar.
Q: What is black garlic and where can I get it?
A: Black garlic, otherwise known as fermented garlic, is a black, tar-like substance. Its flavour is a little bit bitter and a little bit sweet, with hints of balsamic vinegar, molasses, licorice and tamarind. Its umami works well in seaweed-based broths, and in desserts it’s extraordinary. Despite the name, the process that makes black garlic black is not fermentation (microbial metabolism). Instead, it is due to the enzymatic breakdown of allinase and the Maillard reaction. The Maillard reaction is the chemical reaction that gives a uniquely delicious flavour to browned foods, such as roasted coffee, maple sugar, chocolate and the darkened crust of bread. The reaction results in hundreds of different flavour compounds, depending on the type of food. The flavour of fermented garlic is similar to but distinct from other foods that have gone through the Maillard reaction.
Q: What are examples of using garlic in a dessert?
A: Whether it’s roasted or fermented, it’s no wonder that garlic and chocolate and other dessert ingredients are a perfect marriage. Toronto Garlic Festival has featured many innovative and delicious garlic-themed desserts including a chocolatier. For the 2016 Toronto Garlic Festival, Brandon created a truffle consisting of coffee, black garlic and passion fruit. Other Toronto Garlic Festival favorites include Laura Slack’s Lestat chocolate skull, voted one of “50 Crazy Good Things To Eat and Drink” by Toronto Life; Roots of Health’s Roasted Garlic Almond Brittle; Le Dolci’s Garlic-Infused Macarons; Chef Ron Raymer’s (Smoked & Cracked) Butter Tarts with Chocolate Roasted Black Garlic Praline; Major Craig’s Black Garlic Raspberry Whiskey Jam; Magic Oven’s Garlic Infused Bread Pudding with Fruit and Garlic Compote; and Chef and Chopped Canada Winner Anne Sorrenti’s Black Garlic and Beer Lollipops, or Brownies with Black Garlic; and Just A Cup’s Garlic Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Special ice cream flavours available only at the festival include Dark Chocolate & Golden Roasted Garlic Ice Cream (see recipe), Garlic Popcorn (by chocolatier Tim English), and; Bourbon, Butterscotch & Black Garlic (Le Dolci). Featured coffees include Warm Garlic Infused Spiced Coffee with Maple Cream and Pumpkin Vanilla Dust from the Spice Chef’s Creations. But the story of unusual but delicious food combinations with garlic doesn’t end with desserts.
Q: Does black garlic work well in beer?
A: Black garlic marries exceptionally well with some types of beer. Cassell Brewery created a Chocolate Porter with black garlic for the Toronto Garlic Festival. Cassell Brewmaster Mario Bourgeois says, “Our Sleeper Car Double Chocolate Porter base is creating a nice balance, providing a garlicky taste without being overwhelming which is well married with the sweetness of this beer.” Cassell’s Black Garlic Chocolate Porter was a hit at the 2015 Toronto Garlic Festival.
Q: Where can I get Ontario Garlic products such as fresh garlic, dehydrated garlic or black garlic?
A: You can find Ontario wholesale garlic sellers here. For a map showing sellers across the province (includes many retail sellers) check here.
Q: Is it free to participate in Ontario Garlic Week?
A: Yes, You can participate simply by sharing your activity on social media, or sharing your activity with friends and family. There is no fee to be listed in the “Clove” level Ontario Garlic Week directory, which will be seen by thousands of people. For the Bulb and Big Bulb levels there is a fee.
Q: How will Ontario Garlic Week be promoted?
A: Promotion will be through mainstream media, influencers and paid ads. Promotions include Culinary Tourism Alliance, Edible Toronto, Edible Ottawa, geo-targeted ads in rural Ontario and coverage in CTV Your Morning.
Q: We already use garlic in many dishes, can we participate in Ontario Garlic Week?
A: Yes, as long as the dishes you are featuring for Ontario Garlic Week use garlic that is grown in Ontario.
Q: We get our garlic from the Ontario food terminal. Is that considered local garlic?
A: It depends on who you bought it from at the food terminal. Some produce, such as garlic, at the food terminal is imported from other countries, while other products are locally grown.
Q: We use imported garlic. Why do we have to use garlic grown in Ontario to participate in Ontario Garlic Week?
A: Ontario grown garlic is noticeably different from imported garlic in a couple of ways. First, it’s a hardneck garlic, whereas imported garlic is usually softneck. Hardneck garlic grown in Ontario has a higher Brix (sugar) content than imported garlic. Farmers, gardeners and chefs report a wide range of flavours, heat and duration in different strains of garlic. This can be attributed to its terroir. Vintners use this term to describe how weather, season, soil type, slope of a field and myriad other factors affect their grapes. The same goes for Ontario garlic. Ontario farmers grow mostly hardneck varieties (Allium sativum var. ophioscorodon). Varieties including purple stripe, marbled purple stripe, glazed purple stripe, rocambole and porcelain deliver flavour variations—everything from mild to very hot flavours. Within each variety there are dozens, if not hundreds, of strains.
Q: Ontario garlic costs more than imported, by weight. How can we justify this?
A: Using Ontario garlic will add a few pennies to the cost of each dish, but the flavours it brings to the dish will add greatly to the value of the dish. There are also many benefits to supporting local agriculture and the local economy. Your customers will appreciate it.
Q: For Ontario Garlic Week can we prepare and sell one item that uses Ontario garlic, while other items on our menu use imported garlic?
A: Yes, as long as you indicate clearly to your customers which item uses Ontario garlic as an ingredient.
Q: Can we use dehydrated Ontario garlic?
A: Yes, as long as the garlic is sourced from Ontario grown garlic.
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