April 17, 2012

Calçotada!! Sweet Onion Lovers Rejoice!

Some of the 100 kilos of organic calçots awaiting their fate
As my friends, the waiters where I frequently dine and particularly my poor husband know all too well, I am allergic to onions in all of their marvelous forms: onions, scallions, leeks, shallots, chives and of course, calçots.
I love them all, I really do, but I have a genetic allergy that was charmingly passed to me by my mother before I was born. Needless to say, after many years of not being able to eat onions, she was delighted to get rid of it.
In Spain, land of all things onion, this often translates to a having an allergic reaction all the time. Some waiters are convinced that I just don't LIKE onions and so they often LIE to me. Other times I just want to eat something so badly that I pretend I don't see them and save the suffering for later. This makes said husband insane.
So imagine the willpower that it must have taken for me to attend the last two annual calçotadas hosted by some dear friends and gastronomes. These green scallions from Cataluña are considered the best of the best, and their consumption is based around the kind of event that I like the most: an all-day party centered on food!

My sad string of asparagus ready for roasting with delicious butifarra sausage

Last year I tried to make myself a sorry imitation consisting of grilled asparagus, so as not to feel left out. This year I went crazy and tasted the very tip of a calçot. It was as tender, mild and slightly sweet as I had been led to believe. I can see why these seasonal vegetables cause such a gastronomic frenzy.

Read more about these daring adventures with calçots and calçotadas in "Calçots Sweeten Winter Gastronomy" on the Trans-Iberian blog from El País.

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