I discovered this shop during one of my latest walks around my ex flat in Lavapiés seeing how a promising vintage flagship titled “Granel Madrid” –Madrid Unpacked– was builded upon an old beatiful grocery façade at Rastro area in process of renovation. I felt in love immediately with the dark green wood colour of the original display case and I started to imagine it filled with tiny jars, plants and spices… Day after day I started kind of…spying, I have to admit it, how the interior makeover was going..until one day the shop opened its doors reaviling a nice, minimal, clean new space where you can find all kind of groceries unpacked. I am a huge fan of this kind of eco-friendly trend sooooo I thought to introduce the shop and the two young owners, Juan y Javi through my interviú section “Meet the Picniquetters” (where I share small projects I discovery through my walks or travels)…to give them a kick! Enjoy!
Conoce a Granel Madrid!
Granel Madrid, right next to the Rastro-scene, jumps on board of the group of small grocieries in Madrid (yes, there are a few more) offering the chanche to fill your market basket with your own jars or paper bags or whatever you have to transform in an upcycled container to bring home cereals, dried beans and fruits, brans, spices, seaweeds, dried mushrooms and more.especias, algas y setas deshidratadas.
At the moment their selection is already pretty rich of local treasures, as much as bizarre “fusion” goods that will make happy any curious cook! Apart from the basic selection of groceries to fill your everyday needs I found some nice surprises l suggest you to try: black lentils, (they look like venus black rice!), verdinas beans from Asturias, quinoa for a really reasonable price, my beloved bulgur, arborio rice for risotto, red wild rice, dried boletus and “trompetas de la muerte”, wakame seaweed and a great selection of unpeeled pistachios. Don’t forget to bring your own bag or jar but if you do, nevermind, the guys always have recycled paper bags to fill. Also they can prepare nice bags as a gourmet gift!
If you are visiting Madrid step by on Sunday, during your Rastro tour -yes, they’re open!
You could fine some yummy foodie souvenir to bring home like a good quality of typical spanish spice pimentón de la vera or saffron, some local beans or dried fruits like figs or apricots!
Apart from a great selection of unpacked food to nose around, they also sell some vegan/vegetarian prepared food like burguers, tofu and those kit to grow your own mushrooms at home!
Also they sell a really good variety of (inter)national spices: curry spice like London variety, Madras and Garam Masala, all spice and Sichuan pepper (pretty hard to find here in Spain), mix of Cajún and Ras el Hanouth, sweet ají, organic canela, ginger..It’s a paradise where you can get lost!
And now let’s talk a bit with Juan and Javi to know something more about their taste on picnic and local food:
¿What your first memory related to the picnic blanket?
If I have to think about it, the first memories coming to my mind are those summers I spent in my home town, a small village, when I was at the swimming pool with my family and my mother used to lay the blanket on the grass and literally started to scream “Let’s haveeee luuuuch”! My brother and I we just stop by to have immediately the tupper lunch to start the digestion process as soon as possible, and get back to the water.
What do you offer if you are invited to a picnic?
In our mind I relate picnic with summer and sunny weather so we would bring something light and fresh like a salad: fresh spinach, blueberries, cheese and walnuts, or a gazpacho and some fresh fruits.
The recipe for the sandwich of your dream
We recently tried something I really loved and we suggest to try: tofu sandwich with y soy sprouts. It’s really easy to prepare: over a bread slice, spread some good olive oil, a lettuce leave, some tomatoes slices, grilled tofu slices and asparagus tips and sprouts on top. Delicious right? EIn our shop you can find also different varieties of organic tofu, natural, with olives, with basil….that will perfectly match with this sandwich!
A mouth watering street food you tried around the world?
We would like to have a walk and nose around the new street food festivals our city is offering like MADREAT or MERCADO DEL MATADERO but those events are always on weekends when we are actually working …but we will try to escape soon to have a look ( ad grab a bite!)
¿Where you hide in Madrid to make a nice picnic?
During spring and summer you can always find at Campo de la Cebada for lunch. We sit right next to the urban garden, with our tuppers and after lunch sometimes we play canastas with some friends before going back to shop. We really love this space, it’s like an oasis in the big city, not just because it’s a short circuit in the asphalt jungle but also because it a project, run by a neighbor association, that breaks with the dynamics the city offers.
Where you go to picnic outside the town, on a journey trip?
With no doubts totally recommended: escape to Calblanque, near my hometown in Murcia, a natural park right next to famous La Manga del Mar Menor, but with a totally different mood, saved from the tourism mass, of course apart from the August month. Desert beaches, a landscape totally well preserved, walks through small cliffs..A place to simply..get lost and find yourself at the end of the day!
and last but not least…Where is your favorite market where you feel like home?
Of course we know our local markets. We live close by the Mercado de Manoteras, in the north, which was sadly kind of dying and is fighting daily to survive the competitors of big chain malls. In our shop, we are seeing how, step by step, our generation is recuperating the concept of “neighborhood” and “buying local”, based on a real and natural personal relationship between vendors and clients just as people. We really hope to walk in the good direction!
Pics © Picniquette
C/ Embajadores, 12 Madrid
tue-fri 10am-3pm & 5-9pm
closed on mondays