The Annual Calçotada


A few weeks back, I was invited to participate in what may very well be the best spring ritual ever invented: the calçotada.  It's not my previous years I've been lucky enough to head into the depths of Cataluña, the region where the calçot reigns, for a truly authentic experience.

This year, I was lucky enough to be invited to Via Fora, the pintxo bar and restaurant that is San Sebastián's tribute to Cataluñian cuisine. It's right across the bridge from the bus station, and worth a stop (especially on a sunny day) if you're hankering to try Catalan specialties like pa amb tomaquet and romesco.

At this fabulous lunch filled with beautiful people, Cristina and her team fired up the grill, charred these slender onions, and wrapped them in Basque newspaper to soften. Then, we feasted.

Calçots and romesco, followed by butifarra and potatoes.  A peasant feast fit for kings.

And to finish it all off, that dessert that most of you know as creme brulee, but which the Catalans insist is their own, preferring to call it crema catalana. It's not worth arguing about, though, when we can all just call it delicious.

Thanks so much to Cristina and the Via Fora! team for organizing this incredible lunch.