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Catalan Rite of Spring: the Calçotada


"February can be a surprising month for those new to Catalunya. Visitors to Barcelona are sometimes struck by the seemingly non-Mediterranean feel of the temperatures, while new transplants to the city sit tight, not-so-patiently awaiting summer. In this at-times bleak in-between, the Catalan tradition of the calçotada is a welcome highlight signaling the imminent arrival of spring.

The calçotada is the event that celebrates the beloved calçot, a wild spring onion that grows in the woods and national parks throughout Catalunya. Its harvesting period is determined by the conditions of each particular season, but most years it is possible to find calçots on the menu from the beginning of February until the first weeks of March. Families and restaurant owners grow or forage for their own calçots and then gather together in groups to happily feast on their spoils. It has become such a well-loved tradition in the region that the anticipation of this annual event is almost tangible."

Read more at Miniguide