Sign up for our Newsletter
Some of the many varieties of garlic.
Some of the many varieties of garlic.

After the first minute of the competition, the contestants eyes started to water and their breath got really smelly.

But such is the risk of a garlic eating competition, like the one held during Garden of Eve’s annual two-day Long Island Garlic Festival this weekend.

The pungent bulb was the star of the show at the event which included fair vendors, garlic cooking demonstrations, garlic tastings, live music, pony rides and more fall-themed fun at the Riverhead farm. Now in its 13th year, the festival draw a crowd from across the Island.

Steve Zeggers of Wantagh bested nine other foul-breathed contestants in the garlic eating competition on Sunday, eating 27 cloves — with the skin intact — in just two minutes.

His prize? $100 cash.

“I don’t really like garlic so I had to come up with a system,” said Zeggers, who took on the nickname “Bulbasaur” for the contest. “I bite them in half and then I take a drink of water.”

“I literally got them stuck in my throat,” added his wife Heather, aka “Maria Sharaclova,” who was able to down 17 bulbs.

“I feel great. I love having garlic breath for the next three days,” she added.

See more photos from the festival below.

DSC_1355

Wayne Carrier of Middle Village and his son Brandon of Massapequa enjoy a taste of garlic.
Wayne Carrier of Middle Village and his son Brandon of Massapequa enjoy a taste of garlic.
The contestants in the garlic eating compeititon.
The contestants in the garlic eating competition.
Steve and Heather Zeggers of Wantagh. Mr. Zeggers ate 27 garlic bulbs and won the garlic eating contest.
Steve and Heather Zeggers of Wantagh. Mr. Zeggers ate 27 garlic bulbs and won the garlic eating contest.
(From left) Robert Broyles, Peyton Broyles, Fallon Broyles of Patchogue and Christine Bilbao of Port Jefferson.
(From left) Robert Broyles, Peyton Broyles, Fallon Broyles of Patchogue and Christine Bilbao of Port Jefferson.
Ivan Gonzalez and April del Castro of Amityville snap a selfie in the sunflower patch.
Ivan Gonzalez and April del Castro of Amityville snap a selfie in the sunflower patch.
Livestock at the farm.
Livestock at the farm.
Fair vendors at the festival.
Fair vendors at the festival.
Farm Phil Barbato of Biophilia Organic Farm shows offs some Jumbo Musics.
Farm Phil Barbato of Biophilia Organic Farm shows off some Jumbo Music garlic bulbs.
Michael Jaccard and his daughter Mila, both of Hampton Bays.
Michael Jaccard and his daughter Mila, both of Hampton Bays.
Garden of Eve staffer Nhanh Nguyen whips up some garlic pasta.
Garden of Eve staffer Nhanh Nguyen whips up some garlic pasta.
Garden of Eve garlic festival
The entrance to the garlic festival.
X
X