Field to restaurant tour with McDonalds

FTC/Disclaimer: Just like yesterday’s post, this was a sponsored/paid trip with McDonald’s. Opinions are 100% my own.

Remember the time not too long ago I had in all of my social media bio’s that I love McDonald’s? Well it still rings true, and ya better believe it I jumped to the chance when McDonald’s invited me on a field trip with them! Literally one-of-a kind trip to tour the Christopher Ranch garlic fields in Gilroy. I’ve been to a few McDonald’s event hosted at McDonald’s itself, but for some reason I had always been out of town each time they did a field trip like the one I recently went on with them, to Gilroy.

With a belly full of McDonald’s breakfast (Egg McMuffin with no Canadian Bacon please), we hopped into the luxury bus and were chauffeured to the town of garlic – Gilroy. No seriously, many of Gilroy’s logos has garlic in it somewhere, and if you’re local and a huge fan of garlic, they have a Gilroy Garlic Festival coming up at the end of this month. Since I’m “new” around these parts, I only found out about the garlic festival last summer – it’s huge!

Why Garlic, though? Because the McDonald’s Gilroy Garlic Fries are delicious, and only available for a limited time – it’ll end towards the end of summer. And since McDonald’s uses fresh ingredients, the garlic fries are only available in the Bay Area. No more heading to baseball games to get your feed of garlic fries!

Driving into Gilroy didn’t take long, about thirty minutes, and our first stop was straight to the 40 acres of garlic fields and walk on the same soil as the pickers, and watch them as they worked. They’ll start their 8 hour shift around 5am, and fill about 70 buckets throughout their day – I can only imagine the back-breaking work it is, and especially the drive to pick efficiently, as they’ll get paid $2/bucket.

One of these crates of garlic will weigh around ~2,000 pounds. Should do me for about a year, hey? Haha! They’ll plant the garlic seeds (which are originally from Italy by the way!) in September/October/November and harvest around this time til about August. Surprisingly, the fields didn’t have that aromatic scent I love, we’ll get to that in a moment though on the tour of the factories. You’ll notice there’s tons of the dried yellow garlic leaves on the ground and they tried to use every last bit of the garlic plant – and they tried to compress them for heat generation, but it doesn’t burn great. However, nothing goes to waste – even if there’s a defect in the garlic. They’ll go from bulbs, to the cracker (which cracks it into cloves) and even goes further beyond that.

For the tour of the operations, Ken Christopher (grandson of founder) gave us the grand tour with McDonald’s and showed us the behind-the-scenes of each stage of the garlic and what the process is like.


One of Christopher Ranch’s main customer is Whole Foods across the USA, and Costco – and yes including Costco Canada!!! Kind of wild to be there and know it’s at the stores back home in Canada, hey?

It was definitely quite an interesting day checking out how McDonald’s works with their suppliers to create quality ingredients that they serve at McDonald’s restaurants. If you’re local in the Bay Area, the Gilroy Garlic Festival is coming up at the end of the month, and if you’re a huge fan of garlic like myself, you’ll want to go! Thanks to McDonald’s for this awesome (and delicious) opportunity.

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McDonald’s Gilroy Garlic Fries

FTC/Disclaimer: This was a sponsored/paid trip with McDonald’s, you know I love me some McDonald’s, and of course opinions are 100% my own (pfth I’d never post anyone elses wording!).

Are you a fan of garlic? And who doesn’t like McDonald’s french fries, seriously? I swear if you tell me you don’t like the most iconic items on the McDonald’s menu (being french fries) I don’t think we can be friends anymore.

If you’re living in the greater Bay Area, you might’ve seen that last year McDonald’s had launched their very own version of garlic fries, which are made-to-order. They’re delicious and I suggest you get your hands on them before they disappear again for the season! After a successful launch last summer they’ve brought them back again but they’re only around a limited time – until the end of summer. They’re flippin’ good, and may I add I probably would even like more garlic on them? Since they’re made-to-order you can probably request more garlic! They’re seasoned with parmesan cheese, a bit of parsley, and of course Gilroy Garlic from Christopher Ranch (which I’ll get into more detail, in tomorrow’s post).

 

Come back tomorrow, as I’ll be getting more in depth about how McDonald’s sources local ingredients for these specific garlic fries. We went down to the city of Gilroy, to tour the fields where they were grown. I also learned how to braid huge stocks of garlic, delicious! You’ll love it, so c’mon back tomorrow and have a read.

But before you go for the day – tell me: What do you order when you go to McDonald’s? What’s your favourite food/drink on the menu? I gotta say, I really miss their triple-thick-milkshakes and I’m bummed that they don’t have root beer at the McDonald’s locations around me (is it all of the USA?). Either way, I dig their fries, obviously. The nuggets, and plain cheeseburgers is what I tend to order. How about you?

McDonald’s Gilroy Garlic fries, get’em while they last. (photo from McDonald’s)

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Back from Canada to California and a POPSUGAR Box

Hey hey! Back from the land of Canada, and thankfully not jet lagged. To be honest though, I never seem to have it too bad traveling east to west, but vice versa? A completely different story. But I didn’t let that stop me from taking my nephews out in Newfoundland and playing pranks on them (drinking ocean water). It’s my second day back in California and I’m feelin’ grand ‘n gorgeous. Because the past few blog posts were pre-written and scheduled, I feel like it’s been ages since we caught up! Hello! How are you?

I can’t believe we went to Newfoundland, then Ontario all in one trip. So fun, but definitely jam-packed.

I haven’t been blogging frequently and although I do miss the daily posts, I think it’s a nice change. It’ll give people time to catch up (if they wish to do so) without feeling bombarded by the amount of posts, ya’know? At least, that’s going to be my excuse for now.

I’ll tell ya what does tick me off though, the delivery folks around here. It’s not just USPS, it’s all of ’em. UPS, FedEx, you name it. We have a camera on our front door and while we were gone I added a notice saying “Drop parcels off at front desk”. 2 of my 3 parcels have disappeared. Either didn’t make it to the front office, or what. Either way, I’m not going to stress too much about it (if I paid for it, I can get refunded, if it was PR it can be sent again). But I can’t help feel extremely frustrated at the amount of parcels that goes missing around here. And it’s not that they’re stolen from our porch either.

The day that we were leaving I luckily received a new June POPSUGAR box (POPSUGAR sent me this Must Have Box to try #ad). My last one (also free) got lost/stolen and I don’t blame them for not wanting to work with me for a few months thereafter, since the tracking notification said it was delivered. Anyhoodles, I got a sweet new box and thought I’d share the contents with you.

Pretty appropriate box considering how summery it is. POPSUGAR also wanted me to share a special coupon code for you guys. Include the code SHOP5 (which never expires) to allow $5 off your first Must Have Box.

Cozy up beachside with a book, and a starbucks drink, summer trucker hat, the bag to put your wet swimsuit, and sea salt spray for your beachy-waves. Awesome.

Hope you’re all having a great summer!

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