Friday, 11 January 2013

The Calҫots are here - Food Find

The annual Calҫotada festivals are a feature of winter in Spain's Catalunya region.  Somewhere between a spring onion and a leek, calҫots were orginally the onions harvesters missed in the autumn. The alliums remained in the ground over winter and in January/February sprouted from the old bulb.  These days they are a delicacy and are planted deliberately to over-winter.  Their harvesting is often celebrated with a festival when calҫots are consumed in vast quantities.  In Valls, in the province of Tarragona, the biggest Calҫotada takes place on the last Sunday in January.  Visitors manage to get through some 100,000 calҫots in a single weekend.  

If you can't get to Spain for the festivals and you live in London, you're likely to find them on the menu at Jose Pizarro's tapas bar and restaurant in Bermondsey.  You can also buy them from good grocers.  Tony Booth of Tayshaw, trading on Druid Street SE1 goes to the trouble of buying them direct from a Spanish farmer.  From tomorrow you'll be able to get them for the next few Saturdays from his Bermondsey railway arch.  Here's a link on my way with Calҫots and a recipe for the essential Romesco sauce to eat with them.

Location of Tony Booths Tayshaw arch and other nearby Saturday food traders:

Spa Terminus