The Valles Pasiegos are known for their breathtaking natural beauty, but they also host a gastronomic richness that cannot be overlooked. They are the perfect setting to discover a traditional cuisine rooted in history and local culture. From artisanal cheeses to comforting dishes, a journey to the Valles Pasiegos is a feast for the senses.
Pasiego Cheeses: A Dairy Delight When it comes to the gastronomy of the Valles Pasiegos, artisanal cheeses take center stage. The local cheese reflects the rich dairy tradition of the region. The fresh cheese known as “quesucos” and the smoked cheese are two of the most prominent specialties. The fresh cheese is crafted from freshly milked cow’s milk, and its mild and creamy flavor makes it a versatile delight that can be enjoyed with honey, quince paste, or simply spread on a slice of bread. On the other hand, the smoked cheese boasts a more intense and distinctive flavor, owing to the smoking process using local woods.
Cocido Pasiego: Warmth in a Dish The Cocido Pasiego is a traditional dish from the region of Cantabria, Spain, that combines simple ingredients to create a gastronomic experience rich in flavor and tradition. Chickpeas, pre-cooked after being soaked overnight, are combined with sheep meat, chorizo, bacon, carrot, onion, and other vegetables in a cooking pot. On the other hand, the cabbage is cooked in salted water and added to the blood sausage and diced potatoes. The cabbage is sautéed with a garlic and olive oil sauce, and the chickpea broth is transformed into a soup with bread. Finally, the “compango,” a combination of blood sausage and other meat elements, is finely chopped to add texture and flavor to the dish. This process culminates in a comforting and authentic stew that celebrates local flavors and the essence of the Valles Pasiegos.
Sobaos and Quesadas: Traditional Sweets The cuisine in the Valles Pasiegos would not be complete without its traditional sweets. “Sobaos” and “quesadas” are two delights that hold a special place on the Pasiego table. “Sobaos” are made with butter and eggs, boasting a soft texture and a delicately sweet flavor. These treats are a perfect accompaniment to a morning or afternoon coffee, as well as a delightful gift to bring home. “Quesadas,” on the other hand, are cakes made from a mixture of curd cheese, sugar, flour, milk, and eggs, creating a perfect balance between creaminess and spice. Every bite of these sweet delights is a reminder of the locals’ dedication to preserving traditional recipes passed down through generations.
Characterful Drinks: Unique Flavors of the Valles Pasiegos The Valles Pasiegos are renowned not only for their stunning natural beauty and gastronomy but also for their diverse range of artisanal beverages that reflect a passion and respect for tradition and nature. Prominent options include Bodegas Sel D’Aiz and Bodega Señorío del Pas, which have managed to blend traditional methods with technological innovations to create high-quality wines that capture the essence of the region. Bodega Sel D’Aiz, located on a 19th-century estate in Castillo Pedroso, produces environmentally friendly wines that reflect the values of the land and the personalities of its creators, Asier and Miriam. In San Martín de Villafufre, Bodega Señorío del Pas cultivates vineyards in harmony with nature and produces healthy, quality wines using biodynamic methods and ecological techniques. Additionally, the artisanal flavor extends to beer, where Cervezas Dougall’s, based in Liérganes, creates unique beers bearing the signature of its British founder, Andrew Dougall’s. These beverages provide an opportunity to experience the authenticity and dedication that local residents put into every sip.
Refreshing Sweetness: Ice Cream and the Tradition Culinary tradition doesn’t stop at hot dishes and comforting beverages. The Pasiegos have also inherited an ice cream tradition that adds a fresh and delightful touch to their rich gastronomic culture. Artisanal ice creams crafted in the Valles Pasiegos are a true delight, combining traditional flavors with the modern skill of local master ice cream makers. These ice creams, prepared with high-quality ingredients, capture the essence of the region and offer a journey of flavors through Pasiego history and landscape. Each spoonful pays homage to the creativity and passion for keeping their ice cream tradition alive and surprising the palates of both visitors and locals.
Natural Flavors of the Valles Pasiegos: Artisanal Delights The Valles Pasiegos are not only a culinary paradise in terms of main dishes and desserts, but they are also home to a wide range of artisanal products that showcase the diversity and richness of the region. From jams bursting with fresh fruit and authentic flavor to the golden sweetness of local honey, each product is a masterpiece crafted with care and affection. Juices and vinaigrettes capture the essence of local ingredients, while yogurts offer a smooth and creamy experience in every spoonful. These products represent the deep connection between the land and the Pasiego table, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to take a slice of Valles Pasiegos magic home.
Charm of Tradition in Every Bite The gastronomy of the Valles Pasiegos is a living testament to the connection between the land, culture, and cuisine. Each dish tells a story of generations who have cultivated and shared their culinary traditions. A journey to this region offers not only breathtaking views of nature but also an opportunity to explore the authentic flavors that make the Valles Pasiegos an incomparable culinary destination.