Calçots or calsots are called the result of cultivating in a special way the late onion variety of Lérida . This crop is traditional in Tarragona and Catalonia. The calçots are the bulb buds of this onion variety, whose white stems can reach approximately 20 cm. They are also tender and delicious.
The term calçots comes from a Catalan expression “calçar la tierra”, which already gives us a clue as to how its cultivation is carried out. The calçots are obtained by shining earth on the onion, that is, adding soil to the base so that the late onion of Lérida “stretches out” or “lengthens” in search of light. This process must be carried out two or three times throughout its cultivation, until a long white part of approximately 15 to 25 cm is achieved.
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The calçots season usually goes from November to mid-April in traditionally cultivated areas, while in areas with different climates, it is possible to advance or delay the season. This, generally, reaches its moment of greatest interest from the Fiesta de la calçotada, which is celebrated in the city and municipality Valls, belonging to Tarragona on the last Sunday of January.
The calçots are two-cycle plants, whose seeds are obtained at the end of June or beginning of July, which after being dried are planted in the month of December. The squad is obtained in February, at which time they must be transplanted to achieve onions. You can also get this late onion variety from Lleida towards the month of June.
By mid-August, onions are planted with a view to calçar and obtain calçots , which will appear in November. After the time, we must let the stems spike until the umbel appears with the seeds, thus closing the two-year cycle.
How are calçots consumed?
If you are going to prepare the traditional calcçotada , you don’t need to do anything. However, if you are going to cook them in wok, pan or in the oven, you will have to clean them. However, you should never cut the final knot, only the roots. When you have roasted the calsots in a live flame of shoots, you should peel them by making a slight pressure on the tip and stretching the central leaves.
In this way, the calçot will come out whole and clean. Once you have peeled it, try it in Salvichada or romesco sauce and consume.
Lérida late white onion – Calçots
This late onion variety from Lleida has an extremely sweet taste. The bulbs have an inverted conical shape and are of good size; Its exterior color is golden, while the white-yellow interior.
It should be sown from October to March in seedbeds or direct sowing to the place of seating. If it is done in a seedbed, it will be necessary to consider 10g per square meter and transplant when the plants are 40 x 10m in size. On the other hand, if it is done in the final field, the dose to be used will be 6-8 kg / ha.
The bulb collection period should be from July to August. Subsequently, they will be transplanted in fertile and well-drained soil (August-October) to select calçots from December to March according to the areas and times of transplantation.
Plant calçots step by step
In case you still have doubts about how to plant calçots , here is the step by step better detailed:
- The seeds of the late onion of Lleida are sown at the end of the winter in a seedbed.
- By spring, the plant will have grown enough to be able to transplant it to the final place of cultivation.
- When summer arrives, collect the bulbs; cut them off the top and store them in a dry place until autumn comes.
- Plant the bulbs in autumn, leaving the upper part exposed outdoors and wait for the buds to emerge. Once they emerge from the ground, tap them with soil as they grow to achieve calçots.
- When spring comes, the calçots will be ready to be collected and consumed.