When it comes to fairs and fests, Cleveland is not a city that is afraid of getting spicy (or specific). So, in honor of the upcoming Cleveland Garlic Festival, this review will be devoted to the study of that most pungent and popular of spices: Garlic.
Now, whatever may be an individual's opinion about the ingredient, there can be no doubt that writer Sara Perry is an enthusiastic fan. The author of "Everything Tastes Better with Garlic: Positively Irresistible Recipes," Perry is so unabashedly loving of everything garlic that readers' mouths will be watering before they've even made it past the beginning history and tips portions of the book.
This book is not designed for the gourmet chef. Rather, Perry and photographer France Ruffenach guide readers through a step-by-step introduction to the nuances of garlic. As Perry says in her enraptured first chapter, garlic is an easy ingredient to misuse, and untrained handling can ruin a meal. Used properly, however, the herb can enhance any meal to perfection. For the cooks less experienced with garlic usage (this reviewer included) and more comfortable with precise proportions, Perry provides a scale that translates relatively subjective recipe measurements such as "garlic head" and "clove" into easy equivalents. Overall, "Everything Tastes Better with Garlic" is a good platform for beginning chefs who want to add some extra flavor to their meals without ruining the taste (and breath!) for any eager garlic aficionados.
The 2013 Cleveland Garlic Festival is an annual gathering that includes a wide variety of different foods, dozens of local vendors, music, entertainment, and an entire area just for the kids. Taking place on September 7 & 8 in Shaker Square, tickets can be purchased here.