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Brindisa Shoreditch marks Catalan calçotada festival with weekend feasting menu

PUBLISHED: 17:50 20 February 2019 | UPDATED: 17:55 20 February 2019

The Calçotada feast comes with a meat and vegan option. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

The Calçotada feast comes with a meat and vegan option. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

Emma Bartholomew

The Catalan winter calçotada festival is being marked at Tapas Brindisa Shoreditch with a special weekend menu throughout February and March.

That's the way to do it! A demonstration of how to nearly remove the calçotada from the chargrilled outside. Picture: Emma BartholomewThat's the way to do it! A demonstration of how to nearly remove the calçotada from the chargrilled outside. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

Traditionally communities in towns and villages across Catalonia gather to devour the calçot onion while it’s in season.

A cross between a spring onion and leek, the long green onions are plucked out of the earth, chargrilled in huge bundles on open fires, and dipped in romesco sauce.

People gather around long tables in the streets, wearing bibs to catch any dripping sauce, and drink cava straight from Spanish drinking jugs.

To add to the authenticity we were given bibs of our own at Brindisa in Curtain Road, and given a demonstration of how to pull the innards of the tiny leeks from the blackened outsides.

Brindisa provides authentic Calçotada vests to wear while eating the traditional Catalan feast. Picture: Emma BartholomewBrindisa provides authentic Calçotada vests to wear while eating the traditional Catalan feast. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

My technique wasn’t quite as sharp and my hands ended up caked in a sticky black film as we tucked into the tasty morcels. 
To follow my son and I shared both the traditional main course and a vegan option with jacket potatoes. Highlights for us included the white and black Butifarra sausages, a sautéed white bean stew and succulent grilled lamb cutlets.

Roasted red peppers, artichokes, grilled tomatoes and sourdough toast with alioli were all very tasty too.

To finish Crema Catalana was served for dessert, with a noble vegan take replacing the egg wtih coconut cream. 
The three-course meat option costs £35 and the vegan feast is £27 at weekends from noon to 5pm.

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