Barcelona is a food lovers’ paradise — where supper starts at 9:00 or 10:00 in the evening and can go on well past midnight. You will not leave a restaurant hungry, and can sample multiple dishes in the form of world-famous “tapas” (small plates). The Swine is King and one can even find Jamón serrano in a cone along the streets near the tourist centers.
I have been here since late Monday on a media trip sponsored by Freixenet, tasting delightful and elegant cava from the world’s foremost producer of this Spanish sparkling wine, produced here in the traditional method. With us is the charming Eva Bertran, Vice President of Freixenet USA, and native of Catalan. At our welcome dinner she told of us calçots, (Catalan pronunciation: [kəɫˈsɔt]) a traditional Catalan dish. Its star is a type of scallion or green onion known as blanca gran tardana in the Catalan language from Lleida, Catalonia.
A bit like leeks, calçots are best enjoyed fresh off the barbecue, steamed a bit in newspaper and bathed in romesco sauce made of roasted hazelnuts, almonds, garlic, tomatoes, toasted bread, with crushed nyora peppers.
Today after a tour of the historic Segura Viudas property, which included tasting from a just-disgorged cava bottled in 1976, we were treated to this Catalan tradition after a brief demonstration by Mr. Toni Domènech, PR guru at Freixenet. Of course on these wine trips, sometimes journalists enjoy a bit of double entendre — you will see what I mean:
After our fingers were covered with char from the calçots we enjoyed barbecued lamb. Our pairings for the lunch included Segura Viudas ARIA, a sparkling Estate Pinot Noir, Segura Viudas Gran Cuvee Reserva, a blend of 85% Macabeo and Paradella with 15% Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with our calcots, and the distinctively bottled and hand riddled Reserva Heredad, a blend of 67% Macabeo and 33% Parellada.
As I’m posting on the fly with a brand new Chromebook and using all cloud editing, there may be a few glitches with my Spain posts, that I will correct upon return to the States. Now I’m off to change for dinner as we’re headed to Restaurant Gaig.