One of the most enjoyables Catalonia food fest.
What is a Calçot?
It looks like a leek and tastes like a mild onion.
It actually is a green onion but milder and less bulbous than the normal one.
Traditionally grown in certain areas of Tarragona, although now it is cultivated in may places around Catalonia. The calçot form Valls (Tarragona) is a registered EU Protected Geographical Indication.
Calçotada is an annual event in Valls, Catalonia celebrating the harvest of calçots, and it starts on the last Sunday of January. Calçotades are very popular and are especial occasions for family and friends to gather together and share a great gastronomic moment.
Calçotades are held every now and then between the months of January to April
How are Calçots prepared ?
Calçots are grilled over an open hot fire, wrapped up in newspaper to keep them warm and finally served on a hot terracotta tile.
Calçots are served with grilled lamb, and all kind of grilled sausages such as morcilla, butifarra, xoriço …. and also whites beans.
A souce called Romesco it is also served. The sauce is made with roasted tomatoes, garlic, bread, almonds, red pepper, rosemary, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
No cutlery is used to eat the calçots but instead using your hands. Messy ???
Yes, it is messy, really messy but it is part of the fun and that is one of the reasons why you are given a bib as well as plastic gloves. I have to say that I don’t feel confortable using the glove, but you might like to try.
To peel the calçot, you have to hold the white part firmly with one hand and pull with the other one the blackened leaves, you will then end up having a tender shoot, not sure for your first time but perhaps at your third try, to deep in your romesco sauce before placing it in your mouth ….
Wine and Cava is served in a “Porró”, the traditional, long-spouted catalan wine vessel … mmm chances are that you get a bit of the wine or cava all over you, well don’t worry you are already with your bib … and keep on practicing.
The more you practice the luckier you will get.
OK, we are getting almost to the end of our meal but not leaving the table without enjoying one of our typical desserts: Crema Catalana (a sort of the French version of Crème Brûlée) or perhaps some Mel I Mató (fresh cheese topped with local honey)
No doubt this will be a day to remember …
Do you fancy a Calçotada ? Get in touch with us and lets talk ….