Spring in Barcelona: eat like a Catalan
Springtime is one of the best times to visit Barcelona. The weather is getting warmer but it’s still at a comfortable heat, and there are typically less people in the city as the tourist buzz hasn’t quite hit yet and many locals leave Barcelona for the Easter break. Better still; springtime is also a great period of culinary excellence, the season boasting not just great food but unique gastronomic experiences.
One of the most renowned traditions of Catalonia is the Calçotada, most easily compared to a huge neighbourhood BBQ. It is during a Calçotada where calçots– similar to spring onions, leeks, or scallions- are eaten, along with a salvitxada or romesco sauce.
Los calçots grow from January to March and were first discovered near Tarragona, a small city roughly an hour south of Barcelona. The traditional way of cooking this delicious delicacy is by char-grilling them over an open fire until the outside is blackened and the inside is soft. The black exterior is then peeled off, revealing the tasty vegetable underneath.
As well as a traditional way of cooking los calçots, there is also a typical way of eating them. They must be swallowed almost whole, the diner leaning their head back to drop the calçot in.
But a Calçotada is much more than just a BBQ, it is a local feast; these culinary delights are usually served with meats, bread, and other vegetables, and of course lots of wine!
To fully make the most of the Calçotada experience, we recommend heading to the countryside as in Catalonia, calçots grow in the forests and national parks. Why not set up your own Calçotada at Torrent de Can Collserola in the Collserola Natural Park, just a 30-minute drive from Barcelona? Or if you’re not sure where to begin, why not try Cal Ganxo, a restaurant in Masmolets which offers an authentic Calçotada inspired by the original recipe from Grandma Cisqueta de Cal Ganxo. Want to stay in Barcelona? We recommend Restaurant Balmes/Rosselló located in the city’s Eixample district which offers a Calçotada set menu for just €27.
Another typical Catalan cuisine is Botifarra, a type of sausage and one of the most important dishes of Catalonia. Botifarra sausage is based on ancient recipes, and can take many forms. It is often served alone, or as a side dish along with other typical regional foods.
One way to serve Botifarra for example is grilled with white beans, but also combined with rice dishes or cooked with an egg mixture.
It wouldn’t be spring without Easter! And apart from some of Spain’s best Semana Santa parades, Barcelona is also home to the sweetest Easter treat: chocolate. Indeed one of the most renowned chocolate museums in the whole of Europe is situated in the Catalan capital: El Museu de la Xocolata.
At the museum, chocoholics have the chance to see how chocolate is made, where it originated from, and of course, try their fair share of it!
After hearing the story of the cocoa plant, head to Cacao Sampaka to try some of our favourite chocolate treats: los bombones. With over 70 different flavours of chocolate, we guarantee that you’ll be picking up some (or lots) of these mouth-watering masterpieces for the plane journey home…
Sandra Roig is Marketing Director at AB Apartment Barcelona. AB Apartment Barcelona is an apartment rental agency offering over one thousand short and long term apartments across Barcelona.