Actually calçots are a type of onion, from specific regions of Catalunya. But they’re not just onions, they’re really a little bit of a throwback to that time when you couldn’t buy any fruit or vegetable in the supermarket all year round. They sprout at the end of winter / early autumn and that’s the only time you’ll see them about, and even then you’d probably be hard pressed to find them outside of Catalunya.
So, when they are available they’re everywhere, it’s common throughout Catalunya for communities, be they towns, farms, or streets to hold Calçotadas – you buy your ticket and get well fed on calçots as well as butifarra amb mongetes (sausages with beans).
Last Saturday the street where I live put on a Calçotada, which we do annually, in part to raise money for the street decorations for the Festa de Gràcia, but also because it’s a fun event and calçots are great – well that’s why I was there. I’ve got some photos of the Carrer Progrés Calçotada up already. Bon Profit!
[Edit: I’m having a problem with the photos on my site, got to the Flickr set to see them]
Saw an Anthony Bourdain tv show which had a section about calcots just after I got back from visiting you. Looked awesome, pity I missed it!!
(the calcot season that is!)