Often the only food that most people tend to associate with places like Barcelona are tapas and paella. Yet whilst these are both beautiful cuisines in their own right, there are plenty of other delicious foods one can try, including Catalan onions.
Visit Barcelona in January
Certainly, at this time of the year when the temperatures really start to go down, and which often takes visitors to the city by surprise, there are some really amazing foods that can be enjoyed. However, if you are intending to visit Barcelona in January then try and make your visit coincide with a particular festival that takes place during the last weekend of the month.
The festival that I am talking about here is Calçotada, which celebrates everything to do with calçots (Catalan onions). Throughout the city, restaurants will be serving this beautiful vegetable in a variety of ways. But if you really want to experience what the people of Catalan love about this make sure you visit somewhere that chargrills them before then serving them on a curved earthenware roof tile.
Once served you then simply strip away the out skin before you then dip them into the special sauce served as an accompaniment. Also with each serving, you will be given a toast that has overripe tomatoes along with olive oil and salt smeared over the top known as Pa am tomàquet. You use this to mop up any of the sauce that may be left over after you have finished eating the onions.
Why do people love to eat scorched green onions ?
So why is it that the people not only of Barcelona but throughout the Catalan region are so crazy about eating scorched green onions? It is quite simple really, it offers them an excuse to be able to meet up with family and friends, and spend time together. Also, it allows people to show off their skills, because when it comes to eating the calçots requires a special technique in order to do so. Plus what they love about it, of course, is that it is time to have some fun and okay their hands may be dirty and they reek of the onions, but the real reason is because they taste absolutely delicious. You’ll find that when you try these ones, you’ll never have enough.
However the festival isn’t only about the onions, along with them the meal will comprise of a good selection of grille meats. What is served of course will vary from one restaurant to the next but most tend to serve either grilled lamb or a type of pork sausage known as botifara, however some will choose to serve their Catalan onions with beef, chicken or rabbit.
If you are after a real authentic meal then the best place to head during this time of the year is to Restaurant Can Mael, located in the Sants district of Barcelona. This bar isn’t like any other as it doesn’t actually have a kitchen and all the cooking is done on a big grill located by its bar.