November is the month of dried fruits and nuts and the first drop in the thermometer. But for the Catalans it’s the month when the season starts for one of the richest vegetable dishes in Spain: ‘calçots’ a type of spring onion. When we talk we talk about calçots we talk about the delicious ” Lleida late onions”, a type of vegetable common to this part of Catalonia which is eaten baked and accompanied by sauces that are more than a delight.
Tasting calçots at this time is a must for all those who have decided to take a trip to Barcelona to enjoy the rest in our hotels, Petit Palace Boqueria Garden, Petit Palace Barcelona or Petit Palace Museum. Of course, you have to know how to eat them to enjoy them at their best so today we’ll tell you what you need for this Spring onion season.
How to cook them
While baking them is the solution for all those who don’t have a terrace with a stone oven or barbecue, authentic calçots are prepared on grills or grilled with firewood on a real fire. Only then you can learn how it is truly done.
After reaching the (neither too soft nor too hard) exact point, it is good to present them in an long dish to which you can add a touch of very earthy romesco sauce: the ‘salvitxada’ sauce. Whilst eating them as a single dish can be an option, it is best to accompany them with a plate of Catalan meats and other delicacies like sausage, all washed down with a good glass of wine or local cava.
The technique to prevent staining
Calçots veterans know well enough that although the product is delicious- the tasting process isn’t clean and it’s enough to try a couple to know that you end up with black fingers and occasional stains on clothing.
While having these “cons” is part of the experience, take note of these simple ideas to avoid unnecessary troubles:
- Ask for a bib. We have not gone mad nor returned to childhood … In family meals, in large get-togethers and even in a lot of restaurants, calçots are eaten with a bib over your clothes to avoid “unexpected accidents”.
- Take wet wipes. They are useful for almost everyone and are an effective way to finish a special dish of spring onions with clean hands; especially since if you do not know how to eat this product, your fingertips will look the same as if they were covered in charcoal remnants.