Calçots are common onions that are grown in a special way: they are covered with more soil so that they stretch out in search of light. This process, which is the same as that used to grow white leeks or asparagus, is repeated two or three times during cultivation until a long enough white part is achieved.
This product is closely associated with the Tarragona region, specifically the town of Valls (in the Alt Camp region), where the traditional Festa de la Calçotada de Valls is held every year. The calçots from Valls have the Protected Geographical Indication status, which is granted to certain products based on their origin.
Calçotades are a centuries-old gastronomic tradition whose protagonists are the calçots. They are not just a meal, but rather an excuse to celebrate a gathering with family or friends in the open air. They are usually held during the winter months, especially from November to April, which is when this gastronomic product is in season.
If you have missed our first post about calçots, take a look and discover what they are, when, where and how to eat them.
Grilled calçots are a real delight and the way they are eaten has become a party. The essential element to make a calçotada are the calçots. Some people harvest them in their own gardens, but generally, they can be found in any supermarket in Catalonia during the months of November through April.
You must start by cleaning the calçots, cutting the green leaves and the roots without cutting them off. Then, they are placed on a grill next to each other and roasted in sarmiento (the firewood from the vines). They should be cooked on a live flame, not over coals. During cooking, the grill must be removed from the heat a couple or three times to turn all the calçots.
They must be cooked until they are black on the outside and release water. The outer shell must be charred for the inside to be tender and creamy. Once they are ready, they are removed from the grill and wrapped in newspaper. In this way, the residual heat will finish cooking them and they will keep for about fifteen minutes. Finally, they are served at the table on a tile.
It is practically impossible to eat calçots in an elegant way. That is why it is essential to use a bib to avoid staining. To peel the calçot, you must hold the part of the leaves with one hand and, with the other hand, gently remove the burned skin (do not peel, but remove the burned part of one, as if it were a cover), revealing its tender interior. Next, it is dunked in the romesco sauce terrine and lifted up into one’s mouth.
They are usually eaten accompanied by a slice of bread and grilled meat, made using the embers left by the flames of the calçots. To drink, it is almost mandatory to drink red wine in a jug. Unless you order them to eat in a restaurant, calçots are traditionally eaten standing up. The amount per person depends on the size of the calçots and the appetite of each other, but between 20 and 35 calçots are usually consumed per person.
The secret of the calçots is in the romesco sauce. This sauce with a strong garlic flavor and a touch of vinegar, but also sweet from the almonds and hazelnuts, can be easily found in any supermarket in Catalonia or can be made at home.
If you want to prepare it, try this recipe for romesco sauce. Place in a container 1 kilo of washed ripe tomatoes and 6 garlic cloves completely covered with virgin olive oil. Cover them with foil and bake them in the oven at 160 ºC for two hours.
Crush 60 grams of toasted hazelnuts and 60 grams of toasted almonds. Remove the skin from the tomatoes and put them in a blender. Add the confit garlic, the crushed nuts and 1 and a half teaspoons of ñora meat to the blender and blend. Add 40 grams of sherry vinegar, confit oil and salt to taste and blend again. There are also those who add a piece of toasted bread, although it is optional.
Prepare to succeed with this recipe!
In our hotels in Lloret de Mar you can enjoy a varied gastronomic offer. Discover all the bars and restaurants of Rosamar Hotels: the Main Buffet Restaurant, the Avi Pere Grill Restaurant, the Café Ferretti Restaurant and the Ona Pool Snack Bar and choose the one that best suits you.
We are waiting for you at Rosamar Hotels!
A delicacy that is easy to cook, healthy, tasty, tender and absolutely delicious. But what are calçots? Do you know when and where to find them? How are they cooked? And the romesco sauce? We tell you everything in this post!
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