Spanish gourmet food retailer LaTienda.com announces a new addition to its line of fresh produce: the calçot. “We have seen such a dramatic response to our seasonal offerings of fresh padrón peppers, judias verdes (beans) and gernika peppers, and we are thrilled to branch out even further with new lines of fresh produce,” noted President Jonathan Harris. “The farmer’s markets in Spain bustle with fresh vegetables like these and it is wonderful to bring them to our customers here in the U.S.”
La Tienda’s calçots are U.S. grown and are harvested fresh from the farm. They may be ordered online and are then shipped on a first-come, first-served basis. Hundreds of people have already signed up to be notified when the first crop of calçots arrives.
Similar to a green onion, though milder in taste, the calçots (pronounced “kal-sotes”) are specifically tended so that the lower portion of the stalk is protected by from exposure to sunlight. When harvested in the early spring, calçots are grilled over smoking vine clippings, tinder or charcoal. Eaten one at a time, the steaming, charred exterior of the onion is peeled away to reveal a sweet, tender heart – perfect to dip into romesco sauce: a traditional blend of tomatoes, red peppers, almonds, garlic, olive oil and vinegar.
Calçot season is celebrated in the region of Cataluña, Spain with festivals known as calçotada, the most famous of which takes place in Valls. People gather to eat the tasty calçots, and then continue the feast with grilled meats, sausages, red wine from a porrón, and then finish the meal with the classic dessert: crema catalana.