It Comes from: Let us talk about wine: Bodegas Habla
What comes to mind when you read the word criadilla? Do you think of a small, potentially creepy animal – a critter of some sort? I thought the same thing until I was told by a local that a “criadilla de tierra” is, in fact, an uncommon Extremaduran truffle that is only harvested during a small portion of the year.
Food is an important aspect of any nationality and culture. It’s used as a way to represent and describe a group of people, but never has to use a single word – language is no boundary for its reach. I believe you can tell a lot about a culture just by tasting its cuisine, and after dining at one of Trujillo’s best restaurants, El Corral del Rey, during my most recent Wine Bus adventure, I am left completely enchanted with Extremadura.
El Corral del Rey is located alongside the picturesque Plaza Mayor in the historic town of Trujillo. Its name, fit for a king, does it justice, as we all dined like the kings that Saturday afternoon. Ignacio, the owner and creator of Wine Bus, makes a point to take his guests to the best restaurants known in these villages to make sure they have an authentic and memorable experience – and memorable it was.
When we walked into the restaurant, we were ushered through the several separate dining rooms; some fitted with fireplaces, which was nice on this rainy day, and were seated at a large table in the back room. As always, Ignacio had purchased several wines from our tour at Bodegas Habla to serve over lunch, which paired perfectly with our incredible meal. In the set “menú del día”, I ordered the “sopa de ajo con huevo escalfado” (garlic soup with poached egg) and the “escalopines de ternera” (veal scallopini), with a lemon sorbet for dessert.
Not only was every bite delicious, but I was even fortunate enough to get a chance to taste a criadilla de tierra! I normally find mushrooms and other relatives of the fungi family to be dull and flavorless, but these criadillas were extremely savory and flavorful. I hope I will get the chance to try them again. Extremeños know how to treat their lunch guests to a fine meal. If ever given the chance to return, I will most certainly be found eating my heart out at El Corral del Rey.
So finally, after several hours of eating, talking, and laughing over a few great bottles of wine and cafés cortados, it was time for us to embark on the city tour of Trujillo.
Written by Sarah Ernst