Travel Series: Valladolid, Spain, "La Botica"

Plaza Mayor, 2
47230 Matapozuelos, Spain
+34 983 832 942

After taking a tour of a pine nut factory, we drove to Matapozuelos (around half an hour outside of the main center of Valladolid) to have lunch at La Botica. I knew nothing about this restaurant so I had no expectations. The restaurant itself looked like a rural, traditional asador (where they cook meats in brick ovens) so I thought we would finally get to eat roasted suckling pork or lamb! We were supposed to walk down to the field with the Chef but it had rained the night before and it was too muddy.

So instead of going out on a little field trip, Chef Miguel Angel showed us a powerpoint presentation to explain his philosophy and cuisine. As the name of his restaurant may suggest, he has a keen interest in wild plants. The restaurant originally belonged to his father, who used to serve just traditional cuisine (they still do the roasted suckling pigs). He now serves very modern dishes, taking advantage of the seasonal and local vegetation in the area. He is most well known for using fresh green pine cones in his cooking. I had never heard of anyone using it for food. He explained to us that you can use pine cones as you would a lime or lemon. This made a lot of sense to me because earlier when we were sampling Spanish pine nuts, I got a hint of lemon zest. He actually freezes pine cones and juices them too! He also sometimes plants seeds and leaves them to grow in the wild and later forages for them.

Pigeon terrine: smooth, creamy and delicious!
 Pigeon escabeche with local vegetables
Octopus with mache, pesto and sheeps milk foam
 Garbanzo beans with cardoons and mushrooms: ABSOLUTELY divine! The most rustic and flavorful dish
A signature dish: Blood sausage cappuccino! On the top is a bread foam and pine nuts.  Chef’s modern take on a traditional meal of blood sausage with bread
Freshly grated pine cone for the duck
The pine cone was extremely fragrant and complemented this simple dish of duck with duck jus
An unexpectedly delicious dessert: chicory and winter melon mousse with pine cone ice cream and chamomile soup
With Chef Miguel Angel!
I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch at La Botica not just because every single dish was good but because I discovered combinations of flavors that I never would have thought of before.  It’s amazing that a restaurant like this is located in such a small town outside central Valladolid.  You can follow La Botica’s blog.

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