Gilroy, Garlic, and Gardens

We're blowing a kiss Gilroy's way.

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NONE FOR US, THANKS: You know how you're sometimes standing in a kitchen, and your friend is cooking, and they reach for the garlic and ask if they can throw a few cloves into the dish? And maybe you think "no, not tonight" but then you realize you cannot resist the mouth-fiery allure of one of nature's greatest gifts? You can't. So you say "heck yes, throw the whole head in!" And then eating pleasure ensues.

That's how we sometimes feel when approaching the topic of Gilroy while vowing to not make mention of its most famous crop. At first we think "Gilroy and garlic are married in so many minds, let's put the emphasis elsewhere for a day." But we can't do it. We're in love with garlic and we think it is just about the grandest thing in the world. We also think it is spectacular that we can go to the city every summer and devour garlic ice cream and twenty other garlic-flavored dishes of the entree and dessert varieties. So we are, in essence, throwing the whole head into the dish, not just a clove, when it comes to discussing Gilroy's garlicky and non-garlicky gifts.

NATIONAL GARLIC DAY: April 19 was the day -- nope, it doesn't fall in late July, when the Gilroy Garlic Festival happens -- and so we wanted to pause to pay tribute to Christopher Ranch and all of the growers who grow the deliciousness that we crave all the time every day, even at breakfast. (Yep, breakfast, you are the least garlicky of meals, but we bet that's a partnership that is bound to happen one day. Get on that, culinary geniuses.)

AND THE NON-GARLIC: But there are plentiful sights and pleasures around the city that go beyond a certain papery, cream-colored knob. The twisty Circus Trees at the adorable Gilroy Gardens are high on our list of favorite trees in the state. Yep, even in a state that contains redwoods. These trees are marvels. And Mount Madonna County Park is pure gorgeousness. Ever driven Hecker Pass on a crisp October afternoon? It's nearly as good as eating a perfect garlic-and-oil pasta.

Yep, you can't talk about one G without the other, and that's a great thing. Gilroy and garlic go together, but while you're there, visit some of the other special spots, too. They're just as delicious, in their own way.

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