Well what an experience this was! I was fortunate enough to be invited through my local Catalàn friends in Barcelona to a well known ‘fiesta’ here in Catalunya…La Calçotada! On a sunny, 20 degree Saturday afternoon we all piled into my friend’s car and headed off to Manresa, a small town west of Barcelona near Montserrat for the party. Now, the reason these Calçotadas are so famous in Catalunya is due to the tradition behind the always tasty Calçots (in Catalàn) eaten throughout the entire day and late into the night as well. The Calçots are similar to our Green Onions in English however, they are massive here compared to the little ones we have back home. What you do to cook them is you string all of the Calçots together on a piece of wire and then you place them over an open fire to burn the outside of them. Then in the typical Catalàn style, you are to shuck the burnt outer shell which leaves you with the sweet cooked inside of the onion. Then you smother the inside bit in an incredibly made homemade tomato garlic sauce followed by the absolute must…tilting you head back and swallowing the salsa covered Calçot whole!
We were instantly surprised as we showed up to the mansion of Milio who’s father, we quickly realized, owned one of the largest shipping companies in Spain! His house(s) were incredible! They lived on a beautiful ranch with horses overlooking some of the best country side in Spain! Also we found out that this Calçotada was going to be a feast! It was not only the over 350 Calçots that he had purchased for us, but there was unlimited tapas of all the best meats and cheeses in Spain, unlimited Spanish wine, cervezas and of course some special liquors as well! We all decided to pitch in 5€ by the end of the night. Just as a thanks for an incredible evening.
After filling my stomach up to the max, and having an incredible Saturday spent with friends in the Spanish countryside, I now know that the next time anyone mentions the word Calçotada, I will be there in a heartbeat!