Colçotada Festival at Lunya Manchester 17th March

I have eaten a few times at both the Liverpool and Manchester Lunya restaurants, with my most memorable being their ‘Colçotada Festival’ event last March – the great news is – The Festival is BACK this march!!!!

Colçotada is a Cataluña festival which celebrates the calçot, this is a large type of Spring onion, that are grilled over burning coals without being cleaned or trimmed – when cooked you peel off the charred outer and eat them dipped into a Romesco sauce (A tomato, pepper, almond and garlic based sauce). This really is a messy affair, and everyone needs bibs!! They have a fairly subtle, more of a leek type flavour and are best soaked in the Romesco Sauce.

The Calçot from the city of Vall’s have origin protected status and Lunya sells them direct in their deli until the end of March.

Unsuccessfully trying to drink Cava from a Porron under the guidance of Lunya Owner Peter Kinsella

Another very messy tradition of Colçotada, is the drinking of wine from a narrow spouted ‘Porron’ poured from a height straight into your mouth. Its great fun to try, and despite doing it a few times now in Spain, I still can’t get it all in my mouth! In all honesty I have found it easier in the past using Red Wine, think that may be a combination of the fear of staining whatever I’m wearing or the fact that it doesn’t fizz up like the Cava. – You think you’re doing so well pouring this into your mouth, when all the bubbles start to fizz up – so don’t pour for too long like i did!!

After the Calçot feast, we are invited to try some of the great produce on display from the Deli – these included some amazing cheeses, ham and even Caviar Crisps.

The Colçotada festival is all about the barbecue, when the Calçots have been cooked, once these have all been chard, the coals are then used to cook up a meat feast, with this occasion being no different, with some amazing spicy sausage, lamb and chicken all combined with their mouthwatering and slightly spicy Patatas Bravas.

Along with great food, Lunya also have a host of great wines available, I tried out their Malbec and Rioja, both of which were beautiful.

If wine isn’t your thing, they also have a good stock of beers, one that we tried was Estrella Damm Inedit, developed in collaboration with famous chef Ferran Adria to be used as an alternative to wine, its really aromatic and fruity, partnered perfectly with fish dishes instead of a white wine.

No visit to a Spanish restaurant is complete without a dessert, with this outing being no exception. The Crema Catalanya was another stunning dish and a perfect way to finish of the night, with the creamy and sweet dessert being lidded by a crispy sugar top.

The trip to Lunya was an amazing visit and I was thankful to be able to try so many new ingredients and dishes. So if your in Manchester or Liverpool be sure to check out both the restaurant and deli areas.

This years Festival is taking place on Sunday 17th March starting at 12 noon with booking being essential.

Lunya Manchester and Liverpool are both online here

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