25-02-2013

It’s that calçotada time of year

Photo by Vinologue

It could quite easily be said that it’s a blessing to only have calçotadas for one season of the year. It is a feast which, at its very heart is massively intense, delicious, and one which most everyone in Catalonia seemed to attend over the past weekend. While originally from the southern Catalan region, you can find these meals everywhere in Catalonia now and it all revolves around the calçot, this green onion that’s cultivated to have a longer stalk than usual. These are grilled (along with a healthy portion of meat) and then served alongside Romesco sauce for dipping.

Photo by Vinologue

Upon finishing up the dangling of the onion slathered in sauce in to your mouth and messing yourself up no extent, you feel full. The vegetarians amongst us would even declare a small victory in being able to enjoy what seemed to be a full meal in Catalonia. Then of course, out comes the meat. It’s nothing short of your standard botifarras, pork chops, lamp chops, chicken breasts, and whatever else was tossed on the grill to cook up while the calçots were steaming inside their wrapped newspapers to fully tenderize.

As I said, it is intense. Of course a lot of control on the intensity dial comes down to your choice of liquids to accompany the feast. Typically you have the sparkling Cava and/or a red wine, usually shared via the porró. So, in a nutshell, you can have just about anything. We went with a recently acquired Armenian red by Getnatoun winery, the 2010 Bell-Lloc Blanc from Brugarol, and a Champagne (yes, traitorous, we know). This was then finished up with various tastes both small and large of Scotch, És Poma, and homemade Ratafia and Limoncello

A little hedonistic? Sure, but there are few better ways to welcome the start of Spring and it sure beats gathering around and listening to what that stupid groundhog has to say–unless of course he were to be grilled? Pass the porró, please.