Thursday, April 19, 2012

April 19: National Amaretto Day and National Garlic Day

National Amaretto Day

Amaretto is an Italian almond-flavored liquer.  I don't think I've ever had a drink with amaretto or have ever used amaretto in baking.  Hrm... I feel like I've missed out!

As I'm not going to run out and buy alcohol right now (still one more project to go, plus studying for finals, trip planning, etc, etc), I'm going to celebrate National Amaretto Day by learning a little about the liquer.  I absolutely adore this illustrated history of amaretto. (Seriously check it out!) Tree gives a little more dry history of amaretto, as well as some recipes to use amaretto in.  Kindred Cocktails does the same.

I'll be surprised if my
garlic survives.
National Garlic Day

Mmm, garlic!  I do love garlic. It's so versatile - raw, cooked, pickled...did you know you can buy it fermented?  I've seen the fermented garlic at the grocery store a couple of times now, but I still can't bring myself to buy it.  (It's a little pricey.)  Maybe I could try making it.  I'm currently trying to grow garlic, but I'm not sure if my garlic will make it.  Did you know you can grow over 70 different kinds of garlic?

The garlic I currently have on hand.
Personally, I try to buy organic garlic.  And I always, ALWAYS make sure my garlic is from California.  NPR has a story about California garlic growers worrying about imported garlic.  I've driven through Gilroy, CA, too many times to not be loyal to California garlic.  For the unaware, Gilroy, CA, is the Garlic Capital of the World and hosts the Gilroy Garlic Festival every year.  If you're driving along the 101, you know when you're driving through Gilroy- you smell it.  You'll see stores such as Garlic World all along the 101.  They're great places to stop for a gift.  I usually pick a different place to stop at each time I drive through and buy a few jars of pickled garlic or other culinary treats for friends and family.

Interested in the agricultural aspects of garlic?  Check out this report about the state of garlic production in the US from UCDavis.  According to that report, China is the number one producer of garlic globally, with the US second.  In the US, California produced the majority of US garlic, followed by Oregon and Nevada.

If you're in Southern California or in the SF Bay Area and you love garlic, check out The Stinking Rose.  (Just make sure to not to schedule any important meetings after a dinner there.)  And check it out - there's a website for National Garlic Day

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