Catalonia is known around the world for its cutting-edge molecular gastronomy – famed by the many michelin starred restaurants- but there is still plenty of traditional down to earth food to be had! We have our own unique culinary customs and eating calçots is one of them at this time of the year.Calçots are a variety of scallion. They are milder than onions and look similar to small leeks.
It is a generally accepted story that a peasant farmer from Valls (south of Barcelona), began growing calçots in the latter part of the 19th century. He covered them with earth -in Catalan, “calçar” literally means “to put the shoes on”- in order to keep the edible part white.
The Catalan method of cooking the calçots is to grill them over a flaming barbecue. They are traditionally served on a terracotta roof tile, rather than a plate, to keep them warm. Diners peel away the blackened outer layers, and then dip the tender bulbs in Romesco, a sauce made of tomatoes, almonds, garlic, peppers, vinegar and oil.
Mmmmmmm! Messy but delicious!