Go Nuts for Calçots

“A calçot (Catalan pronunciation: [kəɫˈsɔt]) is a type of scallion or green onion known as calçot in the Catalan language. The calçot from Valls (Tarragona) is a registered EU Protected Geographical Indication. (A geographical indication [GI] is a name or sign used on products which correspond to a specific geographical location or origin, for example, a town, region, or country. The use of a geographical indication may act as a certification that the product possesses certain qualities, is made according to traditional methods or enjoys a certain reputation, due to its geographical origin.)”

What’s all the fuss about?
Right, so now that we got the definition out of the way, what’s all the fuss about and why do the Catalans go nuts for their calçots??
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Let’s go hunting… mushrooms!

Once the autumn rains begin to fall there is a well-established tradition in many parts of Spain, especially Catalunya, of heading for the hills and hunting for mushrooms. And yes, it’s hunting! The locals don’t call it picking, gathering or foraging for mushrooms – unless maybe they’re referring to the likes of us blow-ins who don’t really know what we’re doing! While in English we might in some contexts use the verb “hunt” to mean “looking for”, in both Catalan and Spanish they specifically use their verb for “to hunt” (caçar / cazar) as in “to pursue and capture” when they are talking about hunting mushrooms in the wild.

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Let’s go for a Vermut!

As some of you may, or may not, have noticed, there is a tradition here amongst the locals of going out for an aperitif before Sunday lunch. And not just any old aperitif, but a vermut! Of course, it’s not forbidden to drink something other than a vermut and people do partake of other beverages too but, whatever you drink, the custom is often referred to as “going for a vermut”! Continue reading “Let’s go for a Vermut!”

Menú del día

For those of you who come to the Costa Brava on vacation eating out is a major part of your experience here, especially as you will probably do so far more often than you would at home. And for those who have chosen to move here on a more permanent basis one of the joys of life here is the local cuisine, aided by the fact that eating out tends to be far more economical than at home. This is particularly the case when it comes to the “Menú del día”. Continue reading “Menú del día”