By Chuck Woodbury
A few miles south of Gilroy, the “Garlic Capital of the World,” alongside U.S. 101, sits Garlic World, a popular roadside attraction. It celebrates (and sells) “everything” garlic.
There’s pickled garlic, garlic olives, garlic mustard, braided garlic, ginger and garlic stir fry — even garlic ice cream. And, most impressive of all, there’s the World’s Largest Braided Garlic. Oh, the selection of Vampire Wines is good, too.
Totally out of place, in a back corner of the two-room tourist attraction, is a small display of Frank Sinatra memorabilia including — front and center — a copy of his death certificate. There are books about Sinatra, concert tickets, sheet music, photos and more.
Anyone with an inquiring mind (that would be me) would be hard pressed to leave the place without learning why the small exhibit was there —in a back corner, dwarfed by a sea of garlic stuff, hot sauce, fresh and dried fruit and “Garlic Festival” tee-shirts.
So I asked the woman at the cash register. “Oh, it belongs to the owner’s uncle,” she said. “He was a big fan. He didn’t have anyplace else to store it so it’s here.”
I asked her if the display was all about Sinatra, why the 18-inch-tall Dean Martin statuette? “Oh, someone gave it to him and he didn’t have any other place to put it.”
If you love to cook with garlic, you should check out the Garlic World website’s section featuring some great garlic recipes. If you want to visit to buy garlic stuff or to see the Sinatra exhibit, Garlic World is at 4800 Monterey Highway, Gilroy, CA 95020.