14 Dec Have you heard about the famous Catalan “Calçotada”?
Wintertime has come and Catalonia celebrates the harvest of Calçot in this time of the year with the annual calçotada, which represents one of the most popular and unique traditional dishes. The most famous calçotada celebration is held in Valls the last week of January.
What are Calcots?
Calçot is a type of green onion and is grilled on high fire and eaten after peeling by dipping one by one in romesco sauce along with an accompaniment of meat, sausages and white Catalan beans with local red wine. They originate from a variety of scallion from the Catalan area Lleida of Spain. Larger, milder and less bulbous than a typical green onion, the calçot measures more or less 15 to 25 cm. Harvest starts in November and the original calçotada season lasts from February to March, but as it has become very popular during the last years, the season has been even extended.
How to prepare Calçots
The traditional Catalan method of cooking the calçots is to grill them over a flaming barbecue. If you have no possibility to buy the original Calçots you can purchase spring onions, baby leeks, or Mexican onions.
First of all, you need to clean and wash the “calçots” and place them tightly lined up on the grill and roast them, traditionally with roaring flames, on both sides. Be aware finding the right moment, when they are just charred and remove them from the grill. Then wrap the onions in a newspaper and set them aside, where they steam and become tender.
After a short period of time remove the paper from the onions and peel away the backend outer layers to reveal the tender meat below. Then dip the bulbs in “salvitxada”, a sauce made of almonds, tomatoes, garlic, peppers, vinegar and oil. (Link: Recipe of salvitxada) They are served originally on a terra cotta roof tile, keeping them warm and tender!
We recommend celebrating your calçotada with the other grilled items and of course with an excellent Spanish red wine.
Culinary & Cultural Travel Tips from Food Lover Tour
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