This being Los Angeles, it seemed fitting that, at the ninth annual Garlic Festival, Great Expectations, a dating service, and Garlic-Go, a pill to kill garlic breath, had booths back-to-back.
Extolling the virtues of Garlic-Go--"It works on onions, too"--was Lauren Raiseen, president of Garlic-Go U.S.A. She and husband Anthony, a lighting engineer, are South African entrepreneurs hoping that these little capsules of parsley seed and sunflower oils will prove a prescription for big bucks.
"This is the official launch" in the United States, says Lauren. Garlic-Go has been on the market in South Africa for two years and, she adds, "We have the world rights, except for Australia."
Interest was picking up as the day wore on, and foodies eating their way through the recent festival at the Veterans Building in West L.A. began to reek of garlic ice cream, garlic wine and chocolate-covered garlic.
Says Anthony, "They came by this morning and said, 'Nahhhh. We like smelling like garlic.' But when you've been eating garlic all night it smells like something died in your mouth."
This being Los Angeles, booths also pushed sunglasses, garlic oil foot massages and T-shirts from Captain Morgan, the rum that sponsors the festival. Meet a mate. Toss a Frisbee, win a teddy bear. Taste our wine: $6.
"It's so L.A., a perfect microcosm," observed Clegg Hubbell, one of a trio of UCLA fraternity brothers sampling a garlicky hot pot. "I'm going to be cultured, but it's going to cost money."