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In 1979, Gilroy, CA held its first "Gilroy Garlic Festival" and hence became world renowned as the "Garlic Capital of the World". It featured fresh garlic in the many food booths and for sale in the form of braids and loose garlic. But, alas, the Garlic Capital had no garlicky products. Caryl, the creator of Garli Garni, was, at the time, the owner of an advertising and graphic design firm. Inspired by the wild success of the festival and being a fine cook, she started mixing up a garlic herb blend that she used regularly in preparing daily meals as well as dishes for her frequent entertaining. Guests regularly raved and asked what the seasoning was and wanted to take some home. Up to that point, it had been a loosely thrown together concoction.
Down the road a couple of years, the Hayward Zucchini Festival joined the food festival scene. Caryl's "secret seasoning", Garli Garni, was the seasoning used in the stir fry vegetables prepared in a giant wok at the kickoff for the press and VIPs. Attending the event were several food writers from Bay Area newspapers. After the cooking and tasting, several of the food writers from the Bay Area wanted to know what the secret was to the "best stir fry they'd ever had". The carrots, zucchini, onions...? NO! It was the Garli Garni seasoning! Thus, a culinary star was born. In fact, it was the biggest breakthrough since salt & pepper.
At that point, Caryl realized she had a winner on her hands. However, the exact formula was lost. Caryl spent a feverish month trying to duplicate the formula she had sent to the Hayward Zucchini Festival. But, something was missing from the many ingredients. Finally, success! The missing ingredient was rediscovered and Garli Garni was born (or reborn, as it were). A period of test marketing followed. The bottles were flying off the shelves at the new Garlic World store in Gilroy. It was a winner!
In 1986, Caryl started Garlic Festival® Foods with Garli Garni as her first and still most popular product. She then went on to create an entire line of award-winning "garlic laced" products that are marketed nationwide. Users proclaim they are "addicted" to Garli Garni and can't cook without it. Many have tried, and failed, to reproduce the unique blend of garlic and herbs which enhance, rather than overwhelm, the flavor of the foods on which it is used. Likewise, GFF's many other sauces, seasonings, mustards, and condiments.
The company has remained family-owned and is located in central California, considered by many to be 'heaven on earth' with its' beaches, mountains and fertile valleys. Central California produces everything from artichokes, fine wines, salad greens for the entire country, berries, apples, tomatoes, apricots, nuts, citrus, and crops too varied to list and.......GARLIC!