Calçotada!

Last weekend I experienced a Catalonian delicacy- calçots. They’re very popular here in Catalonia, and they’re super healthy too, because they are something similar to leaks or spring onions.

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Calçots are not for people who don’t like getting their hands dirty, as they’re very messy to eat, and no cutlery is needed either. With my calçots, I was given a bib to wear. An adult having to use a bib is generally a good indicator on how messy the food will be.
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By the time I’d finished eating them, my hands were black, it looked like I’d been gardening. Luckily we were given wet wipes for afterwards, and a whole heap of napkins too!

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Although cal
çots are vegetables, they are cooked on something similar to (but not quite) a BBQ, and this is why they are messy to eat. They are cooked in grills on open flames outdoors,

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and because they are cooked on open flames, naturally the outside of them goes back. So the way to eat them is to peel the black part off, or the first layer, then dip them in the sauce that accompanies them, and stick them in your mouth. You’re not meant to eat the really green part, like the leaves. And I have no idea what the sauce is exactly, but it is delicious.

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Calçots are genrally accompanied by a carafe of wine, called a porró. A porró is another Catalan tradition, but involving wine (my favourite kind of traditions). What is special about a porró in comparison to other carafes of wine is that you don’t get a wine glass to pour your wine into, you drink your wine straight from the porró, and its a communal carafe, so you share it with the others at the calçotada. Don’t worry though, it’s perfectly hygienic, as the porró has a special thin spout on the side that you drink from without putting your mouth around it. You just tip it into your mouth, careful with the dribbles, especially if you’re not very skilled at tipping liquids into your mouth and you’re more accustomed to drinking from a cup/glass (very much like me). It does take some practice to get used to, and I was grateful I was wearing a bib so that I didn’t drip it on my clothes. I also had to hold a napkin under my chin too, just to make extra sure to catch the drips!
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