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May 20, 2009 11:55 AM

Calçots in Toronto?

Hi everyone,

I'm a new member here and I can't seem to find this item anywhere...

They're called Calçots...and they're a delicacy found in the Catalonian regions of Spain. I've never had one before but they look spectacular and I'm dying to try one! Calçots are essentially a really big green spring onion..they say somewhere between a green onion and a leek.

Does anyone know where to get them in Toronto??

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  1. Were you by any chance watching the No Reservations episode in Spain rebroadcast on the Discovery channel about a week and a half ago? They were showing a Calçotada out in the country, downed by plenty of red wine. The whole thing looked quite delicious but I have no idea where calçots would be available here. Somehow I think eating them in Spain would be WAY better than eating them here!

    2 Replies
    1. re: always_eating

      there is very little difference between a calcot and a scallion just that they are a little larger and a little sweeter.

      i have had them in spain and recreated it here wild both scallions and wild leeks to the same effect.

      the key is a good homemade romesco, very key.

      1. re: insideman

        thanks for the responses! And yes, I was watching no reservations and they just looked sooo gooooood!!! Funny thing is, I've been to Spain twice but never heard of Calcots..but i guess that's because you have to go sometime between May and June from what I've read. Will def have to try making Romesco and Calcots with leeks and scallions this summer! Thanks again!

    2. I just ate some in Spain last month, delicious. I've read definitions of them as a "winterized leek" so you could always ask someone at SLM North if they know of such a thing.

      1. Bump.

        Still trying to find real Calçots, Calçots seed to grow, or a restaurant doing a Calçotada.

        Got the Salvitxada sauce down and have enjoyed it with grilled overwintered Leeks (Large Musselburgh - yes really, they made it over winter ! ), little green onions (too small), and bulbing green onions (White Lisbon and Evergreen, best so far) as a substitute for Calçots. It is also excellent with grilled asparagus.

        Has anyone seen any form of Calçots in Ontario or found a better substitute than what I've tried ?

        1. I was in Spain and didn't come across these either but now, as a result of your post, I am salivating. I did find this info on Calçots. Apparently it is the way they are grown that creates them, rather than them being a different species of onion. So, one should be able to 'create' them in a Toronto garden, albeit it's a bit of extra work:

          2 Replies
          1. re: Flexitarian

            Thanks F,

            Great article and recipe ! I use more almonds and less oil than most Romescu recipes call for and this recipe looks very good.

            I am familiar with the growing method and I use the mounding up technique to get more of the tender whites on leeks. Calçots are kind of a cross between a leek and a big green onion. The variety is Blanca Grande Tardana and they are proving very difficult to find.

            I hoped a Spanish expat or traveling local CHer had found a way to enjoy Calçots here in TO...

            1. re: PoppiYYZ

              Ah ok, so they are not really actually `normal white onions` as the woman in that article wrote, but a distinct variety. But maybe her point was that one can grow Calçot-type onions using the mounding method. One can get them in the US at an Oregon market from Viridian farms as noted in the article below. It seems they got the seeds from Europe. I`ve noticed, btw, that there are many European vegetables that are grown by specialty farms in the US, but not grown here (for example, spigarello, an incredibly tasty primitive form of brocolli - mainly leaves that one can sautee or eat raw - that is grown all over Europe and that I have been growing in my yard and have harvested from July to mid-December. I have yet to convince any farmers at the markets in Toronto to grow this.):


              I have, btw, emailed them to find out where they got their seeds and will post the answer if I find out.