Saturday, August 16, 2008

Garlic Festival: Binghamton-style

What do all these gnarly photos have in common? GARLIC, of course! Well, at least they were all taken at the annual American Civic Association Garlic Festival we just returned from today. Not exactly the one in Gilroy, CA, which is HUGE, but popular around here, nonetheless. We are desperate for ethnic food, so the mere promise of an enchilada is enough to get us to wade through the ubiquitous pierogi and holupki and pay the $1 entrance fee (not making that up).

The American Civic Association is a gateway for new immigrants to the US, helping them gain citizenship and generally adjust to life here. Once a year, those immigrants return the favor by making food from their homeland and selling it at the garlic festival. There is even garlic ice cream (which no country will claim because it tastes GNARLY).

We arrived and quickly locked in on the chicken enchiladas at the end of line- 2 each, please! Back at the (long, metal, plastic covered) table, the chicken enchiladas were lacking . . . moisture, that is. I took a chance and revisited the line to see if someone could scare up some salsa from the back.
"SALLSA?" she asked, confused.
Yes, salsa. "
Yes, that's it.
She returned with a huge jug of . . . BBQ sauce. I tried not to laugh.
"Not exactly, you know, salsa? It's made from tomatoes and you put it on Mexican food?"
She returned with an equally-huge jug of actual, Costco-style enchilada sauce. HEAVEN!!

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