Rough translation: 'spring onion festival'. We're there.
PROVING once again that the Spanish seize on any excuse for a party, Lunya is holding its annual Calçotada fiesta on Sunday 17 March.
The cause for celebration this time? The seasonal arrival of the 'calçot': a vegetable that's somewhere between a spring onion and a baby leek. Insert party popper emoji here.
Calçotada is a very special date on the Catalan calendar – and at independent restaurant Lunya, which has been celebrating the annual event for nine years now.
At the Calçotada, the calçots are traditionally charred over flames until soft and sweet on the inside, with a delightful smoky flavour. These are then served wrapped in newspaper, and eaten with the hands - picked up, peeled and dipped in Romesco sauce (almonds, roasted peppers, olive oil and sherry vinegar). It's a messy, moreish, flavour hit.
And that's just the start of the feast. The eating of the calçots is followed by lots of chargrilled meats, and the celebration is topped off by the pouring of the cava served from a great height using a porron (a traditional Catalan wine pitcher).
All this will be recreated at Lunya on Sunday 17 March. The menu includes Calçots and Romesco sauce, followed by Fuet, Salchichón and Catalan Tomato Bread; Butifarra (a type of sausage), Lamb chops, Chicken with rosemary, garlic and lemon, and Patatas bravas. There's a vegetarian alternative of char-grilled vegetables and rice-stuffed piquillo peppers.
“The calcots are charred over flames until soft and sweet on the inside then served wrapped in newspaper and eaten with the hands.”
It's all followed by Crema Catalana and fresh oranges. And in traditional Calçotada style, the special celebration ends with the pouring of cava served from a great height using a porron.
Who knew you could get so much enjoyment out of an onion crop? If you want to be there (and we certainly do), the event starts from midday and reservations are essential. Calçotada at Lunya gets more and more popular every year so book in advance.