Calçot (pronounced calsote) derives from the Spanish word calco, which
means "stocking". Calçot belong to the onion family and look
like a spring (green) onion only fatter. They are a specialty and one
of the most celebrated vegetables during the winter
months in Catalonia where they even have festivals called Calçotadas,
in towns throughout the region.
They are believed to have been discovered in the 14th Century by a farmer called Xat Benaigues, who inadvertently left some spring onions wrapped up in a dark, cool place, during the summer. He decided to replant them in the autumn in a deep mound of soil, and by the beginning of the winter, they had grown into a new species - Calçot .
Generally milder than spring onions, Calçot are traditionally grilled over a barbecue then dipped in a pepper/tomato sauce before eating.
To cook simply place on the barbecue and when the outer layers of the onion are completely blackened they are ready to eat.
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