It´s calçots season! A variety of tender onions that can be enjoyed from late winter to early spring, the nutritional properties of calçots are practically the same as onions; it has a wide content of vitamins, minerals, and also attributed diuretic, toning, digestive and aphrodisiac properties.
If you are in Catalonia during this period of the year, you may have heard that your friends this season say “we are going to make a calçotada”, and you will ask yourself: What is a calçotada?
The Calçotada is a traditional gastronomic festival typical of the western region of Catalonia, exactly native to Valls in the Alt Camp region of Tarragona.
Although in recent decades it has spread and can be tasted anywhere in Catalonia; this delicious tradition is very simple, it is based on roasting directly on the flames of shoots and they are eaten by hand, seasoning them with a special sauce, salvitxada. After roasting them, the coals are used to cook meat or other main course options.
Here we are! Sunday! Ready to smell smoke! Willing to celebrate our Calçotada … located in Can Berardo, a beautiful farm near Sabadell, dedicated to agriculture and other various activities, where respect for the land makes them work and cooperate as a magnificent Agri-Club.
A spectacular reception by the hosts, Hermann & Magda await us with a long table prepared, calçots about to start and prepare the flames.
HOW ARE CALÇOTS COOKED?
The calçots are roasted on a grill over a live fire, traditionally the wood is of shoot, although it is not something indispensable and it is burned by the white part, leaving the calçots almost charred by its outer part. It is turned over to complete the burning, when removed from the grill they are wrapped in newspaper in bundles not too large, to keep warm and finish cooking. Finally it is served on the table on a tile, if one wants to thoroughly comply with the tradition.
Do you remember when it was the last time you put on a bib? Well, this is the perfect opportunity for you to use it again. The next thing you will need is skill, since the calçots are eaten with the hands. Once we have served the calçots on the table on the tile, you should do the following:
- Take the calçot with both hands, each at one end of the vegetable, and press the part of the head.
- Proceed to undress it, removing the first charred layers with determination and dispose of what is hidden inside.
- Soak the inside of the calçot well in the sauce, lift it over your mouth and, trying to get it right, eat it!
Living this experience of tradition, gastronomy, friends and family, there is no doubt that there is no better way to enjoy a Sunday. This rich land, Catalonia, hides the secret to make grow these delicious vegetables and give them the sweetness they need to make happy and share with the Catalans and foreigners living in this wonderful place. Land where all the traditional foods are cultivated and grown that combine and make the Calçotadas an exquisite delicacy, accompanied by a good bread with tomato, red wine and a good Catalan sausage.