Calçots are one of the most well-known Catalan products of local gastronomy. This tender onion, roasted on a wood fire and eaten with a typical sauce, shows that simplicity is not incompatible with exquisiteness. While it is true, that eating calçots requires a certain skill and its ritual is somewhat crude, it is still authentic and even fun. Traditional Catalan food is an exceptional discovery for expats and tourists who visit Catalonia, and if you are one of them, you can not miss this typical dish that, surely, will be a sensation to your taste buds. Today ShBarcelona will tell you all about where you can eat the best calçots in the Catalan capital.
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Discover the best calçots in Barcelona
Calçots are a type of tender onion, which are typical for Catalonia, especially in the province of Tarragona. It is also the emblematic dish of the town of Valls, also located in this Catalan province. It is one of the best known dishes of Catalan cuisine, and tasting requires a certain ritual to avoid losing the sauce that accompanies the vegetable on the way to your mouth. The calçot is grilled and traditionally served on a tile. The diner should be accompanied by a bib and gloves, to avoid stains on your hands and clothes, because of the sauce and because of the coal on the calçots. Romesco sauce, the typical sauce that goes with calçots, is made with tomato, bread, almond, garlic, hazelnuts, ñoras (or dried red peppers), rosemary, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. You peel the calçot by removing the most superficial layer, and you then dip it in the container with the romesco sauce, taking it from the tip and wetting the most bulbous part of the onion. Once this is done, you can gently move the wet, bulbous part with the sauce to your mouth and eat it. Generally, the menu of calçots is accompanied by grilled meat, usually sausage, lamb or chicken. The first dish is then the calçots and the second, the meat.
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In Barcelona there are many restaurants that serve calçots when they are in season, usually from mid to late winter, although it is possible to find them in early spring, depending on the weather. In this article of ShBarcelona we recommend the following places: first we would advise you go to Nogal for your dish of calçots. The restaurant is located at Calle Diputación, 412, and it offers seasonal menus with calçots and grilled meat for the second course, as tradition dictates. You can also go to Can Vador, a restaurant with typical Catalan food, that offers delicious dishes and grilled calçots with romesco sauce. They have two locations, one in Calle Diputación, 367, and the other one on Calle Déu i Mata, 69-95. The last restaurant we want to share with you is Piras Brasería, a restaurant with Mediterranean cuisine, that is a mix of Catalan and Italian cuisine, with the best quality grilled meat. They are located in the neighborhood of Vila de Gracia, on Calle Montseny, 10. Remember that calçots can not always be eaten, since they are seasonal products. When the calçots are not in season, you can not find the dish on the menus of these restaurants.
*Main photo by Mumumio via Visualhunt
What restaurant would you recommend to eat calçots in Barcelona?