Calcots and Castells in Catalunya

It was the final activity of our trip in Spain. We were building a Castell and eating Calçots at Mas Truafort, an experience in Gastronomy. This exclusive dining experience takes place at the home of Roger and Nina where we spent the afternoon eating the most delectable foods of artichokes, beans and calçots. Now I am sure I am totally confusing you. What on earth are calçots and what is this Castell that we speak of?  Well a castell (aka Castle in Catalonian) is a human pyramid that is a vital part of the Catalunyan culture in Spain. A Calçot, we'll let's find out now!


travel blogger deb cooking calcots in Spain

calcots cooking over fireWe arrived at Mas Trucafort on a cool afternoon in the to a roaring fire in an outside garage. We had no idea what to expect, but we knew that we'd be eating something splendid this afternoon.

It looked like hard work cooking the calçots, but we all pitched in between drinking copious amounts of wine and knew our food was in good hands when Roger's son lent a helping hand. He'll make quite the chef one day.

cooking calcots catalunya

We ate a table full of these giant green onions thinking that it was all we were having for lunch. Batch after batch of calçot kept coming our way and we kept stuffing our faces with little grace or class. The fire sealed in the juices and they melted in our mouths. I have never enjoyed the tast of onions so much. We ate calçot after calçot until we could eat no more only to find out that we were moving inside to eat some more!

eating calcots in spain

travel blogger dave eating calcots

We had spent the past 8 days with our group of fellow travel bloggers exploring the region of Catalunya, Spain going to a Nascar Race, , driving Seat 600's through the city, watching vultures and bonding over late night dinners and fine Spanish Wines. We were now comfortable enough to put on bibs and eat calçots before climbing atop one another. Oh and did I mention the wine? We had a lot of wine.

The Castell 

The Calçots weren't the only thing on the menu. We had a full multicourse lunch after eating a table full of appetizers with a lot more wine to go with it. After we clearly gained a good 5 pounds each and had foggy brains from the vino, it was time to go outside and make a human pyramid.

But before we do that, learned about the tradition of the Castell and watched the experts at work.

castell human pyramid

castell building catalunyaDating back to the 1800's Castells have become very popular at Catalunian festivals. People compete to make the highest pyramid and have reached nine levels. The higher the level, the more people involved. Since there were only about a dozen of us, we weren't going to attempt many levels but we were going to do our best to build a leve or two of our castell and we had the Castellers de Vilafranca to help us achieve that.
castell building spainhuman pyramid castell catalunyaAfter watching them demonstrate a pillar, it was our turn. I blame the wine for the heads being cut off on my photographs. So I can't say for certain that I was in the best of shape to have people stand on my shoulders. But we did it anyway and lived to tell the day.

castells in spain

We all gathered together and huddled close to make a base for the person climbing over us. Having a strong foundation allows us to be able to “spot” the person in case they should fall.  It didn't last long, but we did manage to make a rotation or two with Iain from MalloryonTravel as our top pilar.

travel bloggers making a castell in spain

And then we all fell down


After we attempted our first Castell, we all had the chance to climb aboard the professionals and balance as a pillar ourselves. Dave even had the chance to be the base himself. The people from Castellers de Vilafranca were very brave souls indeed. To put their lives in our unsteady hands,is a testament to either bravery. But they were all in good hands, the men never took their eyes of any of our pyramids and were close by to control any situation.

travel blogger dave as a castell

It was then our turn to have some fun at the top of the Castell.

travel blogger deb at the top of a pyramid

travel blog photographyer dave in spain

The End of Spain for Us

It was a very fun day of eating, drinking laughing and climbing and although we were sad to leave our new friends that we made in Catalunya, we were happy to have the memories and to end our time in Spain with something as unique as building a Castell and eating Calcots.

We were on a flight to Thailand the next morning, but my fuzzy head was still swimming and as I slept on the plane, I was dreaming of Spain.


travel blog trip in Catalunya

Lunch at Mas Trucafort

Calçots cooked on fire way. Cooked at  the moment with homemade  romesco sauce, grilled lamb and sausages, vegetables, toasted bread, desserts, wine “porron” and coffees.
Price per person : 27€ (tax included) 10% discount for people lodged on Mas Trucafort

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