Calçots: a unique catalan meal
Every winter, there is a tradition of a particular meal that can be eaten in Barcelona and surrounding areas : it is called "Calçots".
The Calçots are kind of a large onion (30 cm/10 inch) that gets grilled and stored wrapped in newspapers to keep them warm. To eat them, you have to peel the black grilled skin with your hands and deep the onion in a delicious sauce called "Romesco". Looks strange the first time, but is absolutely a must-do experience, extremely well appreciated by locals.
They are traditionally eaten during the calçotada, a type of outdoor feast or barbecue, which typically takes place between the months of January and April.
It you ever come to Barcelona around February, you have to definitely taste them. Although you can eat them in Barcelona, the best experience is to leave the city for a day trip somewhere (for example Montserrat) and have lunch in a restaurant in the countryside to enjoy this experience as a local.
However, the best Calçots can be found in Reus. Reus is a city located in the province of Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain. It is the capital of the Baix Camp comarca, located in the south of Catalonia, about 106 km south-west of Barcelona and 38 km west of Tarragona. It is well known for being the birthplace of the architect Antoni Gaudí and for being close to the Costa Daurada beaches.
The climate in Reus is typically Mediterranean, with mild winters and warm summers. In winter the climate is pretty dry and temperatures can drop to 0-10 degrees Celsius (32-50 degrees Fahrenheit) which makes it a good spot for the cultivation of the Calçots. Rainfall is generally low, with most of the precipitation falling during the autumn and spring months.
Overall, Reus has a mild and pleasant climate that makes it a great destination for tourists all year round.