14.03.2012 22 °C
Winter time always sucks no matter where you are from. Either you have rain, or snow, whatever the weather we must find small things to make the day brighter and more fun.
After a long winter, the Spanish people in Catalunya like to enjoy the changing of the weather the best way possible: with a party! The famed Calçotada in Cataluna (and only in Catalunya) is one of the most traditional and delicious parties around. Family and friends gather either in the terrace of someone that has one in their apartment or if you are really lucky, in the middle of nowhere in the wine fields outside of Barcelona. They make a barbecue and put the Calçots, meat and whatever else on the flames to cook.
The calçots are specially made onions (there is a technique to make them that was patented in a small town called Valls) that are long and almost look like leeks. Another great thing in a calçotada is the Spanish "porron" which is a beautiful glass bottle with a thin spout for drinking wine. The Spanish are able to share this bottle with everyone as the bottle never touches their lips but is strewn in a line from the bottle to the mouth. Watching someone who is a veteran with this bottle is quite a treat!
So while the calçots and meat are being cooked, every one talks, plays with the soccer ball, drinks wine or vermouth and enjoys the sunshine. When the calçots are done, many put on an adult bib to not get themselves too dirty although calçots are a type of food that you are bound to get something dirty.
To eat the calçot, you grab the onion from it's green leaves on top and pull off the first layer of (usually burned) onion to find the beautiful white onion below. This, you then dip in the special Romesco sauce (a sauce made out of almonds, tomatoes, vinegar, red peppers and other good stuff). Then you put the long onion up over your mouth and voila....instant amazingness.
I've been to one proper calçotada (it was my first one living in Spain) and it was also the most amazing one because all of the people there were Catalans and were experts in the calçotada. Since then, I've had calçotadas with my family more often than not but the best has to be with friends where you have an excuse to drink wine and take a nap in the middle of the day.
If there is any reason to come to Barcelona during the January, February, March months, it is for the food.