All About the Catalan Calçotada

Winter… A time for hot chocolate and churros, soul-warming soups and stews, full-bodied Spanish reds, and…onions? Yep! You heard right…

Winter is here and it’s the perfect time to experience an authentic Catalan calçotada!

What is a calçotada?

You might be asking yourself…what in the world is a calçotada? The word comes from calçot, which is a special type of spring onion (similar to a ramp) that hails from the northeastern state of Spain, Catalonia. This sweet onion comes into season roughly between December and March, and that’s when the locals get their fires going…

The calçotada is a festive and filling barbecue, in which the calçot is chargrilled on an open-fire, dipped into a delicious romesco-style sauce, and lowered into one’s mouth. Sound messy? It is! In fact, it’s not uncommon to where a bib for the event!

But that’s not all. As with any true Spanish feast, the calçotada has various parts. After the onions come grilled meats, like botifarra, the traditional Catalan sausage, and lamb, all washed down with plenty of wine. There are plenty of options on where to eat calçots near Barcelona, but none quite like our pop-up experience! Plus it’s one of the perfect day trips near Barcelona…

Looking for where to eat calçots near Barcelona? Check out our Authentic Village Calçot Experience!
Preparing to chargrill the calçots!

History of the Calçotada

So where do the calçot and calçotada come from? If you zoom in on a map, about 100 kilometers southwest of Barcelona, you will find a small town called Valls. It was here, in this lost little town, that the calçot was born…

During the late 19th century, a village farmer of Valls decided to try an experiment by planting white onion bulbs in trenches (as usual) and then increasing the depth of the soil as they grew. The result was the incredibly delicious, mild and sweet calçot, harvested roughly from November to April each year.

Looking for where to eat calçots near Barcelona?! We know where to find them!
Calçots are such a big deal in Valls, that once a year the town holds a festival for them!

Since then, the people of Valls have prepared calçotades for holidays and special family meals. However, little by little word spread and they became a popular tradition all around Catalonia, so much so that you can now enjoy calçotades in the city of Barcelona! But, though the calçots might be delicious, urban calçotades are a far cry from the traditional rustic experience of the countryside.

Looking for day trips near Barcelona? Do something unique and unforgettable, like attending our pop-up calçot experience!
Eating calçots at a traditional calçotada is a hands-on experience!

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