Wholesalers expect to sell record 15m ‘calçots’ this season

The growth in demand and ideal weather conditions promise a bumper year for vendors of the scallion-like delicacy


Calçots and the Calçotada festival in Valls (by ACN)
Calçots and the Calçotada festival in Valls (by ACN) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

February 16, 2018 07:10 PM

With ‘calçot’ season well underway, vendors in the Mercabarna wholesale market expect to sell more than 15 million of the scallion-like vegetables this year. If the forecasts are accurate, it would mean a record year for calçot sales and a 10% increase over last year, when 14.2 million units were sold, itself the highest figure in the previous 10 years.

The spring onion-like vegetable is one of Catalonia’s most traditional winter delicacies, especially in the south, around the city of Valls. However, calçots have become increasingly popular all over the country, something that has boosted supply and has led wholesalers to predict that prices will likely remain stable this year, at between 8 and 10 cents per unit. 

The optimism among producers and vendors is also justified by the weather, which this year has been ideal for both the quality and quantity of the harvest. “We expect a good season in terms of product quality, the tendency for prices to remain stable, and also for the growing demand,” said Josep Pañella, one of 50 wholesalers specialising in calçots in Mercabarna.

Of all calçot sales, the wholesalers estimate that between 25% and 30% are purchased by restaurants, with up to 15% exported. Patrick Mateu, from Maleubre Cano, says that markets in England, mainly in London, as well as in France and Belgium are increasingly interested in buying calçots, most of which end up in exclusive and specialised food shops.