Calçot is from the onion family. It is originally from Valls, a village with extensive Mediterranean roots. The calçot season begins in mid-October and lasts until April.
Ideal for grilling
To eat calçot you have to get your hands dirty. After all, it is tradition. Your hands will get stained but you can use a bib to protect your clothes while enjoying this food with friends or family.
Calçots are actually cooked over the fire and served on a tile, wrapped in newspaper. Once they are barbecued, they will have an exquisite taste.
The cooking process
The first thing to keep in mind when cooking calçot is not to cut its roots. The roots will burn in the fire and will be very useful at the time of peeling. In addition, if we cut the roots it will lose most of its juice and the tip of the calçot will also burn.
The cooking process requires roasting the calçots well on an open fire before eating them with hands. They can be accompanied with a sauce called salvitxada, similar to salsa romesco sauce.
To eat these onions, look for the leaves and hold them with one hand. With the other hand, hold the end of the calçot, where the roots are.
With the calçot well gripped, we will gently squeeze the roots and start peeling. The tip of the calçot should be tender and unburnt. We'll still eat it hot by dipping it in sauce. Do not put too much sauce on it as you will want to enjoy the full taste of this snack.
Once the calçots are eaten, more logs are thrown in the fire as you must prepare the second course, which can consist of meats and sausages, with garnished potatoes and artichokes.
It is a great party that is celebrated by eating and drinking. Exquisite menus are made from salads, bread with tomato (the popular "tumaca bread"), different Catalan sausages, calçots with salsa romesco sauce and a rich combination of meats that are typical of Catalonia.
How to improve this menu? With a Catalan cream for dessert. All washed down with a glass of wine or cava.
Calçot in the kitchen
Many restaurants are now specialising in calçot and create elaborate recipes from this product.
There are different recipes, in what is an interesting fusion between the more traditional cuisine and the new gastronomy. You can add these onions to creams, tortillas, meat, legumes, potatoes, or even make special desserts. There are many options to enjoy one of the most traditional foods in Catalonia.