When Christmas is over we start thinking about calçots. Okay, it is not that strict but once you have accomplished all the family-compulsory-Christmas meals you just need to take a break, breath and gather with your friends a little bit. Many times I have mentioned that eating is the best excuse to bring together a bunch of your friends and have a good time.

Celebrating a Calçotada is the most traditional way of eating calçots. And, what is a calçot? It is a type of scallion or green onion from Lleida, Catalonia, Spain although the most popular one is from Valls (Tarragona, Catalonia). Calçots are milder and less bulbous than onions and have a length of between 15 and 25 cm (white part) and a diameter of 1.7 to 2.5 cm at the root. Planted in trenches, like an onion, as a single bulb, and successively increasing the depth of the soil around the stems throughout autumn and winter, they sprout into 4-10 shoots, roughly the shape of small leeks.

Luckily this year we have had the first calçotada in January! The best: we have eaten our own calçots, directly from our orchard. They were scrumptious!

I just thought it would be interesting to show you how to make calçots and how to eat them. And because a picture is worth a thousand words, here you have a photojournalism! ;)

These are the steps you have to follow to make a good calçotada:


This is the best way to cook them. Lit a good fire. Place them in a "sandwich" grill to hold them and, when you get the flames, it is time to put the calçots in. However, we all haven't got a barbecue at home so you can also roast them in the oven.
Cook them until you hardly see the white first layer and seems that they are burnt. You can also check by pricking on them and see if they have softened. The key is having soften calçots.


I have never ever done it before. You know I am very pro-homemade food but this time I am going to tell you the truth: if you don't make a good sauce you can ruin the whole calçotada event. Why? Because the sauce must have the perfect consistency: if it is too thick you will only eat sauce and if it is too liquid you will be eaten a plain onion (plus you will end up with spots all over your clothe...I will tell you later why). However, if you feel like trying, here is the recipe: Romesco sauce recipe
Instead, you can buy it. We always buy Ferrer's.This is a very good quality company that makes an amazing romesco sauce. Nearly as good as the best chefs can make!


The calçotada doesn't need a lot of setting. Choose an open place, set a large table, put the calçots and the sauce and just start eating them. It is very important to wrap the calçots with a newspaper sheet just after putting them out of the fire. The reasons why are to keep them warm and, meanwhile, cook them a little bit more.


Many foreign people find it interesting, odd and funny at the same time! It is actually a lot of fun eating calçots because you can test everybody's ability ;) 
All you have to do is:

a) Peel the calçot. Hold the calçot from the leaves and with the other hand, press the bottom and just remove the skin by sliding your hand.
    b) Dip the white part (which is the onion) in the sauce. If you want to enjoy the whole process with your friends, place the sauce in a big bowl so you all together can dip them at the same time!
    c) Right after dipping it, hold it up again and take it to your mouth. Just eat it until the leaves and throw the green part away.

We usually have 10-15 calçots each person although I have friends that can have more than 25!

The calçotada doesn't end with the calçots. It is a gastronomic event because after that you just follow the barbecue with botifarras, escalibada and a nice cava to drink!

Hope you enjoyed this pictures :)

P.D: Bear in mind that after the calçotada you will end up with dirty black hands and a nice barbecue smell that... it will lead you directly to the shower!


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