Over the weekend I ended up in Morada Brindisa with calçots (Catalan onion) in my hand and a massive grin on my face. I love exploring other cultures through the food I eat and the fact that this was on my doorstep was a sign. A sign for me to not miss the messy, delicious food, the atmosphere or the company of The City Fittie.
Calçotada in an annual event which celebrates the harvest of calçots. They are grilled over a hot fire, wrapped in newspaper, and eaten after peeling with bare hands and dipping in romesco sauce. Unwrapping the newspaper and just smelling the calçots for the first time had my stomach rumbling. They smelt absolutely delicious. Once we had put on our bibs, the very friendly staff showed us how to peel the onion and made sure we were aware of the romesco sauce. And then we were left to tuck in, hands first.
If the whole meal had been calçots I would have been very, very satisfied. The City Fittie and I took our time eating them, savouring their sweet flavour mixed with the garlic, spicy flavour of the romesco sauce. But that was just the beginning of the meal: cava and meat followed next.
As she doesn’t drink, her cava become mine, and as I don’t eat meat it seemed as if all my meat had been piled onto her plate! I loved my plate of artichokes, peppers, and potatoes. For one thing everything had been cooked in butter and tasted delicious, for another the seasoning was all kinds of perfect. We also had alioli sauce in the mddle of the table and that addition of garlic was perfect for me. I love strong flavours and there isn’t much which is stronger than garlic!
This was all followed by Crema Catalana, the Spanish take on crème brulée. I think I have been extremely unlucky with crème brulées since I have never had one with a thin and crispy top. I remember one Christmas with my team when it was as if I was trying to crack the Earth’s outer crust with my spoon – that’s how hard it was. In comparison, this was absolutely delicious and the perfect end to the meal.
Everything the two of us ate was delicious. It was a very fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Brindisa (Tramontana in Shoreditch or Morada in Piccadilly) is hosting Calçotada lunches all through February and March weekends and I really recommend the whole experience. Definitely book in advance and be prepared to have a wonderful time.