The Botillo festival is one of the most relevant gastronomic events of northern Spain and it is also considered a Festival of National Tourist Interest in the country.
Bembibre’s Botillo Festival have been an annual gastronomic and cultural event since 1973. It enlightens the bond of this village population with this meat-stuffed pork intestine preparation.
Botillo is a meat-stuffed dish typical from the county of El Bierzo, in the Spanish province of León. Its main ingredients are the pork ribs and tail. It can also include the pig’s tongue, cheeks, shoulder blade, and backbone, but never exceeding 20% of the total volume.
Botillo is a kind of embutido (cold meat) normally consumed in the winter season for its high amount of calories. It is a product that has remained in popular culture as an emblematic food and tradition coming from the ancestors of the region.
Nowadays, this product is endorsed by the official logo of the Protected Geographical Indication. A sales description that certifies its quality of production in a specific area, which coincides with the limits of El Bierzo county.
With this background, the celebration of Bembibre’s National Festival for the Exaltation of Botillo keeps its popular culture with the elation of this delicacy in a party that has become one of the most important gastronomic events in north-western Spain. Not surprisingly, botillo has the capacity to bring together more than a thousand people in each edition.
The Festival consists of two parts: on the one hand, the institutional and cultural act, which includes the mantenedor’s (chairperson) speech and, on the other, the tasting of the botillo in a great gala dinner.
The main act also includes the, often musical, performance of groups or artists recognized on the national scene. Bembibre’s Botillo Festival has been attended, among others, by artists such as José Mercé, Bertín Osborne, Café Quijano, Shayla Dúrcal, Carlos Núñez, Diana Navarro, el Consorcio, etc.
After dinner, the event finishes with a ball to end this celebration that continues to gain followers every year.