Between December and April appear, in Tarragona region and especially in Valls, the calçots and the calçotada, a feast in which tradition and gastronomy come together.
The calçots are a sweet and tender variety of onion, with many properties, such as antineoplastic agent, diuretic, digestive, tonic, and even aphrodisiac. Prepared grilled, and served on a tile, together with romesco or salvitxada sauce. The ritual of this popular Catalan feast is to take the calçot for the top end, peel the outer layer, soak it in the sauce and put it directly into the mouth; therefore a bib is often used to avoid staining.
Regarding the origin of calçots, it is said that it was a farmer from Valls, in the nineteenth century, know as Xat de Benaiges, who, by mistake, prepared grilled some onions that overheated. They burned on the outside and, instead of throwing them away, the farmer peeled the outer layers, discovering the calçots.
Although the calçots are typical of Tarragona region, more and more restaurants in Catalonia include them in their menus; from typical farmhouses which offers the most traditional calçotades, to innovative restaurants, which reinvent this delicacy.