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Italian red garlic. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder photos)

It was a garlic lovers paradise at Garden of Eve Organic Farm and Market in Riverhead Saturday afternoon as the 12th annual Long Island Garlic Festival drew hundreds of garlic admirers from all over Long Island.

Vendors offered up a myriad of food and drink including garlic jelly, garlic tea and even garlic ice cream.

Many of the dozens of varieties of garlic were grown locally and the soups, dips and snacks created with the pungent bulbs delighted visitors, some who have attended the annual festival year after year.

After tasting the garlic jelly, Peter Gugler of Centereach decided that he liked it.

“It has an interesting flavor. I think it would be nice to have on a thick slice of bread,” he said.

George Mejia, an intern farmer at Garden of Eve, was all smiles as he watched people’s reactions after tasting some of the more exotic garlic products.  Mejia, who studied criminal justice at Penn State, is an aspiring farmer who decided that a career as a policeman wasn’t for him.  Originally from the Bronx, Mejia finds working the land therapeutic and delights in providing folks with fresh vegetables — including lots of garlic.

In addition to all the garlic, the festival featured live entertainment, cooking competitions and dozens of vendors, as well as fun activities for the kids.

The festival continues on Sunday, September 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

See more photos below.

Top photo: Italian red garlic. All photos by Katharine Schroeder

The garlic plate, an invention that allows you to safely mash garlic without the need for a grater or press.
The garlic plate, an invention that allows you to safely mash garlic without the need for a grater or press.
Garlic ice cream.
Garlic ice cream.
Mike and Dana Rieger of Two Big Jerks Jerky in Rocky Point offer up Steakhouse Garlic jerky.
Mike and Dana Rieger of Two Big Jerks Jerky in Rocky Point offer up Steakhouse Garlic jerky.
The garlic festival.
The garlic festival.
Kerri Dobbs of Shirley offers a sniff of her garlic tea to Anthony Stapon of Riverhead.
Kerri Dobbs of Shirley offers a sniff of her garlic tea to Anthony Stapon of Riverhead.
Garden of Eve employee Danielle Diverde.
Garden of Eve employee Danielle Diverde.
Folks look over the offerings at Sweet Melissa's Dips.
Folks look over the offerings at Sweet Melissa’s Dips.
Carissa Waechter of Carissa's Breads sells many different types of breads...including garlic.
Carissa Waechter of Carissa’s Breads sells many different types of breads…including garlic.
Eric Schmelerberg and Meg Adamo demonstrate how to prepare garlic tea.
Eric Schmelerberg and Meg Adamo demonstrate how to prepare garlic tea.
Elizabeth Dickenson of Biophilia Organic Farm in Jamesport serves Bob Markowski of Massapequa. In the backgroud is farmer Phil Barbado.
Elizabeth Dickenson of Biophilia Organic Farm in Jamesport serves Bob Markowski of Massapequa. In the backgroud is farmer Phil Barbado.
Garden of Eve garlic jelly.
Garden of Eve garlic jelly.
George Mejia, right, looks on as Peter Gugler of Centereach tries some garlic jelly.
George Mejia, right, looks on as Peter Gugler of Centereach tries some garlic jelly.
Will Stoner, left, and Patrick Orlando serve up Garlic Castillian soup.
Will Stoner, left, and Patrick Orlando serve up Garlic Castillian soup.
Bruce MacDonald and Lindsay Reeve (background) of Barbecue Bruce and the Brisket Brothers.
Bruce MacDonald and Lindsay Reeve (background) of Barbecue Bruce and the Brisket Brothers.
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