Last saturday we were invited to go to the camping (where the boyfriend’s parents spend their weekends and holidays) for having calçots. I never heard of them myself till a couple of weeks ago, so I won’t blame you if you have no idea what I am talking about. Calçots are a type of vegetable, yes, of course I am talking about food again. They are more or less like green (spring) onions, but the taste is much milder. Calçots is a Catalan word and the tradition of eating them is also only typical for this region.
The most common time for eating them is between November and April, during these months you can find many people barbecuing calçots in restaurants, campings or gardens.
So, we went to the camping for this tradition, because of course it was about time for me that I got to know what it’s like to have a calçotada (the act of preparing and eating the calçots). It was a rainy and cold February day, but that couldn’t stop us. Soon my dad “in law” started to cut wood and prepare the barbecue. And the calçots were placed on it till the white part of the “onions” was almost completely black. Then they got wrapped in newspapers and placed between roof tiles to keep them warm. Before eating, you take off the black layer with your hands and dip the calçot in a romesco sauce. This sauce is typical for eating calçots and is mainly based on nuts, red pepper, tomatoes and garlic.
I must admit that having the calçots is quite a messy, but fun and yummy way of eating!! When you eat them, it is pretty normal to have a bib around your neck (yes, the ones that are used for babies), to make sure that you don’t ruin your clothes. We just used paper napkins, but they were very necessary. As you can see in the 4th picture I sometimes kind of failed while peeling the calçot and I peeled so much that there wasn’t much left of it. But I was forgiven for that, since I am still a Dutch rookie in the Spanish culture…