Garlic is as Good as Ten Mothers

Homegrown garlic

We headed to Gilroy in late July to wallow in garlic. Our first Gilroy Garlic Festival is the festival’s 33rd year celebrating the charms of the stinking rose. While this was our first Gilroy Garlic Festival, we had already glimpsed the deep and abiding love of everything garlic in the Les Blank documentary Garlic is as Good as Ten Mothers, portions of which were filmed in and around the Bay Area and at the inaugural Gilroy Garlic Festival in 1978. In a breezy ethnographic style with a wide range of stories and storytellers, this 1980 documentary braids the tales of garlic lovers from eaters to farmers to chefs.

Hear the surprise in Chef Alice Waters’ voice when she describes how the Bastille Day garlic diners demanded “More garlic!” Observe the demonstration and listen to the serious tale musician Antzonini Del Puerto relays as he provides the recipe for pan con tomate (a little bread, tomato, and garlic) that helped Spaniards survive the years of famine during Franco’s fascist regime. This interesting film presents a range of stories about living deeply with garlic and promotes the sensory overload and positive benefit from eating garlic daily.

Eat Your Garden

In our parking lot garden, the garlic and onions not only require little attention but they also help ward off common garden pests. We harvested a good quantity of garlic bulbs grown from individual cloves planted earlier this spring. Garlic passively but effectively prevents pests. It’s a plant we’ll always enjoy growing and eating.

More info:

Gilroy Garlic Festival

Flower Films: Garlic is as Good as Ten Mothers

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