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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Calçotada = family time !

Calçotada en Valls : Les Esplemes or Coll De Nulles, or in Sant Just: Can Carbonell.

Calçot is a type of scallion or green onion known as blanca gran tardana in the Catalan language from Lleida, Catalonia, Spain. The calçot from Valls (Tarragona, Catalonia) is a registered EU Protected Geographical Indication.[1] Calçots are milder and less bulbous than onions and have a length of between 15 and 25 cm (white part) and a diameter of 1.7 to 2.5 cm at the root. 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 -
It is the season of Calcots, it will go on till march. The traditional way you have is in a Calçotada.Thanks Wikipedia :

We went with our family to Valls, an hour away from Barcelona. We went to Les Espelmes. It is right in the nature, in the Coll de Lilla between Valls and Montblanc. The restaurant Les Espelmes is privileged to stand on a spot from where the whole of the Camp de Tarragona and, on the horizon, the Mediterranean can be viewed.                      

Calçotada is the meal you have , enjoying calçots and other natural products grilled on charcoal, having fresh air and fresh food.  First they will serve you Calçots with their rich romesco sauce - nut and red pepper based sauce enriched with roasted garlic and olive oil- , you will have to wear a bib and peel the onions with your hands.The Calçots are typically served on large old Spanish roof tiles or tejas with the salsa in individual mini ceramic dishes. The way to eat the dish is far from luxurious but is huge amounts of fun. You take the roasted calçot and holding onto the tip of the inner green, peel away the black outer skin by pulling down with your other hand. Then, dip the whole thing into your salsa, enrobe  it in romesco and tip your head back and drop the entire calçot into your mouth – delicious! Wine will be served in "porron", and we all have it from there itself. You have to aim properly to your mouth so the wine doesn't slip and you can't touch the beak with your mouth.  It is fun time with family. They will serve you bread, tomatoes and garlic to make your own " pa amb tomaquet".
Calcçots at Can Carbonell

Family time at Les Espelmes:Calçotada
After the calçots, will come the second course- part of the calçotada meat and vegetables grilled on the charcoal accompanied with "cava". If you are a vegetarian, you can have some vegetables or any dishes à la carte, from Canelones to artichokes, soups, Escalibada (spanish ratatouille)... And then the desserts, many eggless ones, are to die for. Their " Frio Caliente", cold custard and hot chocolate sauce, Turron and Liquorice ice cream served with a " mandarin" sorbet... and many more exotic and exquisite sweet treats. 
Great desserts at Les Espelmes. 
You also have another nice place for calçots in Valls. Here you have the calçots ,first outside,  standing, and then wash your hands in the antique fountain and enter to finish your meal : Col De Nulles.
We haven't been this season but it has always been very good.  
And if you don't want to drive so far away, 15 minutes away you have the nice Masia Can Carbonell in St Just. We have taken many family members , from India, Canada, Morroco , Usa and they all have loved it.
You always have to book the calçotada sometime in advance, and if you choose Can Carbonell, you can go earlier with kids as there is Poney Club nearby :
Having a Calçotada in the winter months while in Catalunya is a must and a nice thing to do while in Barcelona. 


A day with BelleBarcelone

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