Get Thee To Gilroy! (Unless Thou Art A Vampire)

Achievement: #24. Buy Garlic in Gilroy

If you had to guess where the Garlic Capital of the World is, what would you say? Somewhere that’s like, completely full of vampires, right? Like Romania. Or at the very least, Collinsport, Maine.

But what if I told you that the Garlic Capital of the World is actually just off the 101 in the middle of the desert somewhere around Salinas??

Would you ever believe that the Garlic Capital of the World is….

Garlic in Gilroy
Gilroy, California??

Garlic in Gilroy
Well, it is. Gilroy is not just that place you drive past on the 101 with all the billboards and road signs full of dancing garlic bulbs. It’s the REAL DEAL of the garlic world.

Full disclosure: Gilroy is not the number one producer of garlic in the world, but it *is* supposedly home to the most extensive garlic processing. You can get garlic in any expression imaginable – whole, minced, pickled, powdered, braided, ice-cream-ed.

And so, since we had to travel north on the 101 anyway, we decided to make a stop to pick up my favorite cooking ingredient from its natural habitat.

Garlic in Gilroy
The first stop was Garlic World, which is actually the second garlic shop you pass on your way north (we were so excited to be in Gilroy that we missed the first one, whoops).

How excited were we to arrive at Garlic World?

Garlic in Gilroy
Pretty freaking excited.

Garlic in Gilroy
Garlic World is like a big grocery store that just happens to specialize in garlic. They’ve got tons of farm fresh goodies in the first room you enter (all farm produce is fresh as can be in California because the weather’s just right for it all the time).

Garlic in Gilroy
In the second room, you get down to the business of garlic. There are jars of minced, pickled, chopped, and dried garlic. There’s a garlic clove sampling station.

Garlic in Gilroy
There are dips and sauces and every possible combination of garlic-and-something flavoring you can think of. There’s something called a garlic braid, which is, as far as I can tell, just a fancy way to show off and store your dozen garlic bulbs.

Garlic in Gilroy
There’s also this amazing wall of honey. Can you imagine garlic-infused honey??? (While that’s not what’s pictured, I’m sure it exists!)

Garlic in Gilroy
Oh, and there’s also Alf in a garlic apron, chilling by some garlic-stuffed olives at the register.

Garlic in Gilroy
Needless to say, we brought home more than just these amazing memories.

Garlic in Gilroy
However, since we *are* purists about our traveling experiences, we turned around in some business’ back alley and revisited the first garlic stop that we’d initially missed, the Garlic Shoppe.

Garlic in Gilroy
The Garlic Shoppe is smaller than Garlic World, and it’s more down to business. Everything in there has garlic. Garlic ice cream, garlic hot sauce, garlic jelly, garlic dog treats (ok, I totally don’t know about that last one, but I wouldn’t have been surprised).

Garlic in Gilroy
They had samples of garlic salsa and garlic hot sauce, but we were drawn in by the Garlic Dude Dust and the Garlic Aioli.

Garlic in Gilroy
In the end, this is what we brought home from our garlic travels in Gilroy.

Garlic in Gilroy
Sadly, we were not able to take home this cute, bashful horse outside the Garlic Shoppe, although I did try to convince Michael that Lucy really, *really* needed a pony.

If you find yourself traveling along the 101 and you love garlic, stop into Gilroy! It’s a short detour to get some of the neatest garlic products you can imagine. Even if you can’t make it to Gilroy, you can bring home your own Gilroy garlic by visiting the websites of the two garlic shops featured here – they’ll ship it anywhere in the US!

And look for upcoming Jelly of the Month Club posts where we’ll tell you all about the jellies we bought in Gilroy, too!

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