Calçotada in Wageningen
Even if I am not catalan, I was looking forward to share the event that took place last Saturday (7th of April) in Droevendaal. This was the first Saturday of the year we enjoyed 21ºC and around 300 people joined to this catalan event that receives the name of calçotada and that have been celebrated in Wageningen more than three years in a row.
Calçotada is one of the most known Catalan traditions. It is a gastronomic tradition celebrated in the region surrounding Barcelona. A proper calçotada requires the typical sweet grilled spring onions known as ‘calçots,’ and the famous romescu sauce.
From January to April, calçotada is hosted in the surroundings of Barcelona as a winter food festival. Calçots are cooked once the grill is ready. They are cooked until they start to turn black on the outside. Once they are done, they are wrapped on newspaper and left to rest for a couple of minutes. Finally, and before you can eat them, your calçots must be pealed.
Calçots have to be eaten along with romescu sauce and only then is when you can pronounce the famous words: Bon profit!
How to eat calçots
Only once the calçots are gone, bread can be eaten with the sauce. After the bread, it’s time to eat the typical Spanish grilled meat. Grilled meat includes pork, beef, lamb chops but also the most important one: Butifarra.
Butifarra is a classical catalan sausage which is also eaten with bread.
Together with all this amount of food, hydratation plays a key role. For that not only beer can help, Catalan tradition indeed is in favor for wine. But do not try to imagine a glass of wine, wine has to be drunk from a porrón. A porrón is a glass bottle similar to a small watering can.
In order to properly use the porrón, you just need to straight pour it into your mouth from high distance. If you are a beginner, you might start by pouring it quite close to your mouth. However, the real technique comes when you can pour it from bigger distances.
Calçots arrive to Wageningen
This 2018 and as a tradition, calçots where shipped from Spain to the Netherlands, together with several kilos of romescu sauce.
It was indeed the sunniest days up to that moment. Everyone in Wageningen was finally using sunglasses.
We started the event sort of clean, we opened our beers while the calçot were still on the fire.
And then is when the fun part comes. When everyone is already full and your hands are completely dirty, is the moment of making dirty the rest of the people.
And as I said, I was not allowed to eat bread until all the calçots were gone, but at the very very end I found my piece of bread.
After all, it was a great event, and as one of my best friends (thanks Anne) said the next Sunday:
I wish all Saturdays were calçotada.