This is one of my favorite Catalan traditions. A Calçotada is basically an event where people gather together and have a big feast, it is usually at the end of winter/beginning of spring. The main thing people eat are delicious calçots (green onions) which are barbequed and then dipped into an amazing romesco sauce. The sauce it what makes the calçots so yummy to me, especially since I am not a fan of onions. This year was my second calçotada, there were about 30 Catalan teachers, my American friend who invited me, and same Irish English teachers too. It was at a big house on the countryside in Girona and was beautiful and sunny.
We arrived at around 12pm and began drinking wine from the typical "purro." The calçots began cooking while other food was staring to be prepared. We had some appetizers of fried eggplant with a honey sauce sprinkled on top- mmm delicious. Then I helped make the pa amb tomàquet (bread with tomato) while the calçots, meat, artichokes, and salad were all being prepared. Finally it was time to eat. You always start with the calçots, which are still hot because they are recently taken off the burner, and dip them into the romesco orange sauce. Then we ate artichokes that had been cooked with garlic and also dipped them into the sauce. Next we sat at a big long table outside and began to eat the various types of meat, salad, and bread. It was all so good. We were all so full - but the meal was not over - there was still dessert, fruit, coffee, and champagne. I love this feast because it brings everyone together and really is such a satisfying meal. I am so glad I was able to experience this Catalan tradition more than once!