Garlic & Potatoes
Since we last visited Chester, we've found that a lot of farmers are
realizing a simple truth: specialty garlic tastes amazing. "I say
they taste so good, and it boils down to that," says Wally.
On Wally Condon's organic farm in Lodi, you'll find specialty garlic
just about everywhere you look, that's because at farmer's markets around
the state, the specialty garlic business is booming. Says Wally, "This
may be our biggest day so far in garlic. I could have said that for about
3 or 4 weeks in a row now, it's been our biggest day for garlic."
But, if you visit the San Francisco market you'll spot something about
Wally's garlic stand
most notably, it's actually a potato stand.
You see, for years Wally's heart belonged entirely to the specialty spud.
Varieties like Rose Finn Apple, Carolla, Caribe, but for the time being,
garlic is taking center stage.
"The name of my business is Small Potatoes, but the garlic's are
going to be the tail that wags the dog here pretty soon, and we're going
to be doing much bigger business in garlic than we have been in potatoes,"
But it's not all just about good business. Wally's become a capable garlic
connoisseur who loves to talk taste. Wally says, "Well taste, how
do you put words to a taste. My favorite, the Rocambole has sweetness
about it, and a spiciness to go with it that many garlic's just don't
have, at least to my taste."
As garlic gourmands and growers, Wally and Chester Aaron naturally share
some things in common. But what's more, they share a joy for spreading
the word about the garlic they grow. "The excitement in people's
eyes when they try something they've never tried before and it's
an eye opener for them. Or maybe a mouth opener to them," Said Wally.
So as long as there's demand, garlic will co-exist peacefully with the
potatoes on Wally's farm, and as he'll show you, there might not be a
The Garlic &
Potato Farmer's Lunch:
For this recipe Wally uses walnut-sized Swedish Peanut potatoes and Rocambole
2 slices of thick-cut smoked bacon, chopped
1 cup chopped sweet red onion
½ pound tiny potatoes
6 French gray shallots, or when using large red shallots, use fewer and
6 fresh garlic cloves, peeled
¼ cup sherry or dry white wine
¼ teaspoon salt
Sauté bacon and onion over medium-high heat until light brown.
Cut potatoes in half (if tiny), or into wedges approx. the size of a walnut
half. Add potatoes, shallots, garlic, sherry and salt, cover with lid
and reduce heat to medium-low. Stir from time to time and add more wine
or sherry if it's drying out. When potatoes brown and onions and garlic
caramelize lightly (about ten minutes) the dish is done.
Per Serving: 400 calories, 14g protein, 64g carbohydrate, 10g fat (3g
saturated), 13mg cholesterol, 597mg sodium, 8g fiber