Sunday, February 26, 2012

My first Calçotada!

This was so much fun! And delicious!

In my last post, I wrote an introduction to Calçots and yesterday I was lucky to be at one.

There are a few restaurants in Barcelona that serves calçots, but I think the best and more authentic way is a calçotada enjoyed outside. More rustic and messy! I don’t see white tablecloths fitting into this…

I was so happy to find this Calçotada Popular in the city of Barcelona. Basically a mini Festa de Valls where us city people got to enjoy a real Calçotada. There were stands with degustations of local wines, cavas, oranges & mandarins, sausages and cheeses. There was entertainment Valls-style and the weather was gorgeous. 

A couple of the degustration-stands:

There was a “calçots-field” as a demonstration to see how the calçots are grown, and apparently they start by planting onions. A few months later, in February/March the sprouts are transplanted from the seedbed to the fields, where in April-June they grow into soft onions. In July, they are taken up and set to dry. Then in August/September the dried onions are re-planted, to become calçots. To help speed up the process they cut off the top of the onion to give way for the sprouts. In October/November they will bud once again, and in December to April the ready calçots are harvested. 

The calçots are ready to be grilled! The firewood used should be branches from Olive-trees or wineyards. 

Fire is on!

The ready ones are taken off the fire: 

One of these guys; gloves? Naah.... The calçots are just coming straight off the open fire...

The ones who are burnt enough, are packed in newspaper:

... and the ones that are not quite burnt enough are put back on the fire...

...with some more firewood...

The calçots are ready! While waiting in line for my own portion, I had fun looking at the people eating. Trying to learn how to not make a complete mess... (Didn't succeed all that much though, 
then again, it's supposed to be messy!) 

One thing I loved about this, is that absolutely all ages and generations are present and enjoying it.So nice. I think old people get out and enjoy life more than back in Norway, and I love that! 
(I am sure weather is a key factor here...)

Tam tam! Finally it's my turn!

The carbonized layer is esaily pulled off and the soft, creamy core of the calçot 
is dipped in Salsa de calçots and eaten. Yum!

What was served with this calçotada was 12 calçots per person, a glass of red wine, 
a glass of calçot-sauce, an orange, and a bag of hazelnuts. 

I have saved the entertainment part of the calçotada for another post as this one is already quite long. But coming up: Human towers! And I might pull out a recipe for the Salsa de calçots!


  1. Hey :) Glad you liked it! Basically your calcotada was almost the same as the big party in Valls- probably less people but in the bag the very same ingredients. Getting messy and dirty while eating calcots is half the fun I think :)

    1. Loved it! I think it would be fabulous to attend a Calcotada de Valls, shame it's almost a year till next time!

  2. Think it looks fabulous! You are a good photographer too...

    1. Thank you very much!! I have fun taking pictures :)

  3. Sounds like fun. So what did it taste like?

    1. I think the salsa is the key here. The calcot alone taste like a baked, kind of sweet leek I think. But the combination with the salsa makes it super-delicious. The salsa is a mix of tomatoes, toasted almonds and hazelnuts, oil ++. Will post the recipe this week :)

  4. I will definitely be on the look out for that recipe-it sounds amazing!

  5. Okay all of this looks seriously yummy and it does look like a whole lot of fun. So glad that you're out there trying all this great stuff!