Finally, spring is here!
For many Catalans, this means going to a winter barbeque called a calçotada to eat calçots.
So what is a calçot?
It is like a big spring onion which tastes more like a leek with a much milder taste, usually roasted and then dipped in a delicious romesco sauce.
I go to a calçotada every year, and the biggest one I’ve been to was with a group of 70 people at a farm just outside Barcelona.
It’s a very social affair, starting with an aperitivo – starters such as pintxos, beer, wine, salad.
Then the battle begins!
Steaming calcots wrapped in newspapers arrive at the table and you are expected to eat between 10-15 each.
Afterwards, there are also roasted vegetables, grilled meat, sausages called botifarra amb mongetes (Catalan sausages cooked with small white beans with garlic and parsley).
To end, we had some cake and hot chocolate of course! It was freezing outside.
It is a great afternoon out with friends in the countryside.
Note that this is unique to Catalonia and not practiced elsewhere in Spain. The season runs from end of January until the beginning of April.
If you would like to try calçots the traditional way grilled, I can recommend this traditional Catalan restaurant: Restaurante Taverna El Glop