Catalonia is a gastronomic paradise, cradle of some of the best Chefs in the World. Its cuisine is a blend of heritage, tradition, the use of good, local and fresh products, creativity and innovation. Catalan people love the good cuisine, the gastronomy and love to share good moments with a nice company around a table.
The most popular gastronomic experience between January and March is the Calçotada .
Calçot in the Catalan language means a type of scallion or green onion originary from the region of Valls- Tarragona in the South of Catalonia.
Calçots are fresh onions with a length of between 15 and 25 cm (white part) and a diameter of about 2 cm at the root. They are planted in trenches, like an onion, as a single bulb, and successively increasing the depth of the soil around the stems throughout autumn and winter, they sprout into 4-10 shoots, roughly the shape of small leeks.
Calçots are grilled over a hot fire, over the flames until blackened on both sides. Then they are removed from the heat and wrapped in newspaper to finish cooking. They are eaten after peeling with bare hands by dipping them one by one in the romesco sauce. And this sauce makes always the difference.
The romesco sauce, was originally a sauce that fishermen in this area made to eat with fish. It is made with any mixture of roasted nuts, red peppers, roasted garlic, tomato and olive oil.
After cooking the calçots , the remained the charcoal is used for grill meats- lamb, butifarres (typical Catalan sausages), rabbit and chicken. Also bread slices are roasted.
Since 1896 until nowadays, every last Sunday of January in Valls, the place where calçots come from is celebrated a calçot party. This year the party held on January 29th
They are 3 contests in this gathering: one for the eaters to see who is able to eat more calçots in a certain time. This year 2017 the winner ate 295 calçots (about 2,5 kilograms) in 45 minutes. Another contest is of course for the romesco sauce and third for the cultivators of calçots.