Throughout the months of January, February, and March friend gatherings in Catalonia change dramatically. They no longer meet up for an aperitif or a snack, during these months of the year they meet up for calçotades, in other words, meals where the main course is the calçot.
What exactly is a calçot? It’s a large, elongated white onion ranging from 15 to 25 cm in size that is cooked over a wood-fired oven. Generally it is served with the legendary romesco sauce, made with almonds, hazelnuts, dried peppers, and paprika. To eat calçots like a true local you have to use your hands and never cut them. But don’t fret; wearing a large bib to avoid stains is not frowned upon.
If you are already experienced at eating this type of onion, you can always sign up for a contest where the price goes to the person that manages to eat the most in 45 minutes. It’s held in Valls every year, and in case you are up for it, know that the current record is at no more and no less than 3.8 kg, or what is the same, 265 calçots!