In the past few years, the raw food movement has begun to take off both in the US and many parts of Europe. In Spain, however, raw food is still usually equated with salads and gazpacho. The folks behind Spain’s only 100% raw food restaurant, Crucina, are excited to help change the image of raw food from boring, to something as diverse and satisfying as traditionally cooked cuisine.
You might be wondering, what exactly is raw food and is it any better than food I’ve been having all along? There is a wide range of raw food cuisine, but essentially the idea behind it is to cook with mostly plant-based ingredients, ensuring the temperature does not go above 45 degrees Celsius. Many people believe that cooking food at higher temperatures than that might limit its nutritional value.
The restaurant is located in the vibrant neighborhood of Malasaña and run by Yorgos Ioannidis and María de Vera. Yorgos is originally from Greece, but speaks Spanish and English fluently and was happy to introduce me to the menu. He explained that by using a variety of techniques, they keep the best nutritional qualities of their ingredients while allowing the flavors to reach their maximum potential. They have a great selection of items which include everything from, soups, smoothies ,”pastas”and of course- salads. Like many restaurants in Madrid, they offer a menu del dia so you can try a bit of everything. They also serve organic wines, beer and even offer a gluten-free beer option.
The day I stopped by, I enjoyed a menu del dia which included a salad with a refreshing yogurt-dill dressing, followed by a zucchini “pasta” with a fresh pesto sauce. Both items were better than I could have imagined, but the real surprise was in the dessert. I had a slice of apple pie, drizzled with a cocoa sauce. It was the first time I had tried unprocessed chocolate…and it was amazing! I left feeling full, but energized and ready to take on the rest of the day!
Whether you’re needing a break from a meat and bread-heavy diet, or are a vegan in search of a great place to eat, try Crucina for a refreshing meal!
Where: Divino Pastor, 30
Metro: San Bernardo
When: Monday to Thursday from 1pm to 4pm and 8pm to 11:45pm
Friday and Saturday from 1pm to 4pm and 8pm to midnight
Sundays from 1pm to 4:30pm