GARLIC lovers will be following their noses along the Bucketts Way this month in their quest to discover the best of the Barrington Tops’ burgeoning garlic industry.
Between January 11 and Australia Day, Stroud and Gloucester districts will celebrate the ‘glorious stinking rose’ with garlic-themed produce, dinners and workshops, plus tastings and sales at local fresh produce markets.
More than 30 individual garlic growers are producing some extraordinarily high quality garlic in the rich soils of the region.
Bucketts of Garlic was initiated by a handful of local growers to promote and celebrate both their own zesty produce and the re-emerging Australian garlic industry.
Gloucester Shire’s events liaison officer Tess Hilleard said fresh Australian garlic was a highly sought-after and valued culinary and therapeutic commodity.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for garlic lovers to taste and buy fresh garlic from the people who have planted, harvested and cured it,” Ms Hilleard said.
“It’s also a chance for our garlic growers to starts spreading the word that they grow some of the best Australian garlic right here in our region.”
Bucketts of Garlic kicks off with the Gloucester Farmers Market this Saturday, January 11 where garlic lovers will have the opportunity to touch, taste and buy garlic from more than a dozen different local growers.
Garlic tasting, garlic cooking demonstrations and garlic value-added products will also feature at the markets.
Stroud Heritage Growers and Artisans Market will repeat a similar line-up for their Australia Day garlic-themed market.
The much anticipated third annual garlic dinner at Roadies Café in Gloucester on January 18 sold out within days of being announced.
Upper Myall Valley garlic producer Jocelyn Colleran, who helped organise the first two Gloucester garlic dinners, says the event is gaining quite a reputation.
“In 2012 chef Will Lute created a vanilla bean pannacotta with burnt orange garlic caramel sauce, garlic toffee and honeycomb crumble,” Jocelyn said.
“It was simply stunning.”
This year, Stroud’s Central Hotel has risen to the challenge of preparing a garlic-inspired feast and will host the village’s first garlic-themed dinner on Saturday, January 25.
Food outlets and businesses along the Bucketts Way are taking up the garlic theme with garlic-inspired menus and food products.
Look out for garlic sausages at local butchers, garlic sauces and condiments at local cafés and fresh local garlic at markets and shops.
For those seeking the satisfaction of producing their own pungent bulbs, Jocelyn Colleran will host an ‘Introduction to Garlic’ workshop in Stroud on Saturday, January 18.
Jocelyn will provide a thorough grounding on planting, harvesting and curing practices as well as a glimpse into the world of garlic flavour and food chemistry.
Gloucester tourism manager Wendy Hughes said Bucketts of Garlic would further enhance the region’s developing reputation as a premier food and wine destination.
“We already welcome thousands of visitors each year to the Barrington Tops region to experience our beautiful rural lifestyle plus world heritage nature for adventure and wellbeing,” she said.
“Now the growing trend towards food tourism is well underway here and the Bucketts Way is the thread that links our thriving farmers’ markets, a string of successful boutique vineyards, flourishing local produce enterprises, a café culture prizing fresh local ingredients and a growing series of innovative local food events.”
Bucketts of Garlic is a joint initiative of Visit Barrington Tops, Gloucester Farmers Market and Stroud Heritage Growers and Artisans Market.
For more information contact Tess Hilleard or Thomas Davey at Gloucester Visitor Information Centre on 6558 1408, visit www.visitgloucester.com.au or find Bucketts of Garlic on Facebook.