A Barcelona food blog
Okay, okay, okay, so what was I thinking? My restaurant calçot experience was “near as dammit perfect”……that was before I’d had the outdoor, group experience.
On Sunday 14th March Gracia’s Placa del Nord hosted an ‘urban’ calçotada, organised by Lluïsos de Gracia, a community centre which promotes learning and activities for local children and young people in the Gracia district of the city. The event was also a partnership with Horturbà (www.horturba.com) a business that aims to be environmentally, socially and economically sustainable and which sells products and promotes ‘growing your own’ on the balconies and terraces of the city’s apartments, such as a planting table they were promoting on the day. Hand made breads, jams and cakes were also for sale, supplied by Can Perol (www.canperol.cat) a business comprising of six families that grow and sell organic produce in Baix Llobregat, just outside the city. My understanding is that some or all of the bread, tomatoes and calçots for the event were supplied by them, although this might not be accurate as my imperfect Spanish and Catalan gets in the way of fully understanding what’s happening from time to time.
So, this beautiful square was where the afternoon’s events were taking place
and whilst we waited for our lovely calçots to char there were workshops and activities for the children, such as seed planting in used yogurt pots, making your own sundrier for vegetables (old cardboard box, few pieces of wood, some black paint and a bit of polythene, I will definitely be giving this a go when I move to my new place) and of course making the fabulous romesco sauce.
In the meantime the adult volunteers worked hard preparing to feed what must’ve been about 400 people with calçots, pan amb tomaquet (Catalan tomato bread), botifarra sausage, lamb chops, pork loin, fruit, wine or beer and coffee, and for all this wonderful food we were only charged €10.
And so to the end result, hundreds of people sitting together in the warm spring sunshine, sharing food, conversation, and all with messy hands and charcoal dribbled chins.
The lack of seats for everyone almost added to the experience, people eating on the square’s benches and ping-pong tables was all part of the fun. Indeed this time, the calçots experience really was almost perfect.