In Catalonia there’s a very authentic and popular way of saying Goodbye to winter: the calçotada!
The calçots are a kind of green onions that they grow for the purpose of eating them in these local festivities called “calçotada”. Even the preparation is a kind of a ritual: they make fire and they cook these green onions on a metal net with high flame, and when the calçots are cooked, they cover them with newspapers to keep them warm. Cooking the onions is also a social acitivity, people drink red wine together. In the meanwhile, people usually cook meat in a barbecue to have a more abundant meal.
If the preparation is a ritual, eating these calçots is that even more! People eat them with their hands and as the onions are burnt on the outside, you get really dirty by the end of the meal. This makes the calçotada a funny event. The ritual consists of the following steps: you grab the calçots and peel them, you dip them in a special sauce (similar to romesco sauce) and then you put them in your mouth trying not to make all your clothes dirty, which usually is quite challenging. The wine is drunk from a special jar called “porrón” and drinking wine directly from that is another sure way of making your clothes dirty. It’s a lot of fun!
Although restaurants offer calçotada menus, the best way of experiencing this Catalan tradition is going to a barbecue place with friends. People always end up dirty, but the calçots dipped into this sauce are really delicious and it’s a great way of spending time together with your friends.
If you come to visit Barcelona or the rest of Catalonia this time of the year, don’t miss the chance to participate in a calçotada! For your visit, check out also this great post with all the cool things to do in Barcelona.
Is there a traditional event with food involved in your hometown? Share it with us!