Calçot (Catalan pronunciation: [kəɫˈsɔt]) is a type of scallion or green onion known as blanca gran tardana in the Catalan language from Lleida, Catalonia, Spain. The calçot from Valls (Tarragona, Catalonia) is a registered EU Protected Geographical Indication.
Calçots are milder and less bulbous than onions and have a length of between 15 and 25 cm (white part) and a diameter of 1.7 to 2.5 cm at the root. Planted in trenches, like an onion, as a single bulb, and successively increasing the depth of the soil around the stems throughout autumn and winter, they sprout into 4-10 shoots, roughly the shape of small leeks.
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The origin of the variety is disputed, but one of the most commonly accepted versions [unsubstantiated] of its history is that they were developed by Xat de Benaiges, a peasant farmer from Valls by at the turn of the 20th century. He is said to have been the first to have planted the sprouts of garden onions, covering them with earth so a longer portion of the stems remained white and edible. That action is known in Catalan as calçar, (a Catalan agricultural term which means to cover the trunk of a plant or vegetable with soil. As the plant grows, soil is continuously added, i.e., "calçar"), hence the name calçot.
The most traditional way of eating calçots is in a calçotada (plural: calçotades), a popular gastronomical event held between the end of winter and March or April, where calçots are consumed massively.