Every 1st Saturday in May, which just happens to be National Dandelion Day, Breitenbach Wine Cellars hosts the annual Dandelion Festival. Why is a winery hosting a flower festival? Well, for the last twenty years Breitenbach has been making wine completely from dandelions — no grapes. After following the growing interest in the flower for a number of years, in 1993 they decided to kick-off a festival that now attracts 20,000 people. Like me, they are all probably surprised to learn that dandelion leaves contain twice as much calcium as spinach, more vitamin A & E than broccoli and they contain high quantities of iron, riboflavin, and lecithin. Dandelions are healthy for the bod and the brain.

And to give people some helpful hints, there are many different dandelion food products free for tasting, such as dandelion cheese bread, dandelion gravy, dandelion ice cream and dandelion coffee. “For the coffee,” festival organizer Anita Gates says, “they take the dandelion root, roast it and then grind it up.”

The festival also hosts the National Dandelion Cookoff. Months before the event over a 100 dandelion chefs from around the nation draft up ideas for dandelion delicacies and submit the recipes to the judges. Then ten finalists are invited to compete for a cash prize of $500.

When: First Saturday in May every year
Where: Dover, OH, U.S.A.
More Info: For more info call 800/THE-WINE or visit www.breitenbachwine.com.

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