Without ever having visited Pasiegos Valleys, if we asked you about the typical gastronomy of the region, you would probably mention quesadas and sobaos pasiegos. Although it is true that the high milk production in the region enables these sweets to be known all over the world, Pasiega gastronomy goes far beyond these soft and spongy delicacies.
The most famous dishes stand out for their strong recipes, with an emphasis on rich local meats, river fish, vegetables and fruit from the land. The spoon is the perfect instrument for tasting this explosion of unique and traditional flavours with great historical significance. If you haven't eaten yet, we recommend that you read on during dessert!
A real spoon dish not suitable for tight stomachs. You may have heard of the mountain stew, which is very common throughout the Cantabria region. But the pasiego stew introduces a fundamental change from its mountain counterpart: it replaces beef with sheep's meat and the soup includes bread. The tasting ritual is not very different from other stews: first the soup is eaten, then the chickpeas with the vegetables and finally the meat. This is a fairly high calorie dish and is best reserved for after a long walk.
Olla de Carros
Another spoon dish with a very simple preparation that features one of the most typical pulses of the region: the red kidney bean. This excellent base made of pulses is accompanied by pork.
Puente Viesgo-style potatoes
Stopping in Puente Viesgo is almost imperative, as it is one of the most touristy towns in the region, thanks to its prehistoric caves. This is the perfect spot to enjoy this typical and delicious dish. Potatoes and chorizo are the main ingredients of the recipe, although it also includes a base made with a good quantity of tomato, leeks, garlic and olive oil. It is served in a clay pot, which makes it more authentic and even tastier!
Trout in Papillote
If you prefer to skip the meat dishes, we now propose one whose origins lie in the river Pisueña. Thanks to the existence of this river and the fish farms of the region, we can enjoy the delicious local trout. This mighty river fish offers endless possibilities; it is excellent, even baked in the oven. But it is very appealing to prepare it with some local vegetables, such as leeks and carrots, to make the most of its flavour.
The production of this fruit is experiencing a golden age throughout the Cantabrian coast. Specifically, in Pasiegos Valleys, the cultivation of organic blueberries is proliferating, maintaining all their authentic flavour and properties.
Such has been the incursion of this fruit into Pasiega gastronomy that we can already find sobaos stuffed with blueberries. Can a blend be more perfect?
If you want the full experience, we recommend that you contact La Pizpireta, a small farm that grows small fruits organically and now offers group visits where you can pick the blueberries yourself.
Quesadas and sobaos pasiegos
The ingredients of these two typical delicacies are very simple: butter, eggs, flour and milk, in the case of the quesada. It is unlikely that during your visit to Pasiegos Valleys you will not find inns, shops, pastry shops, etc. offering these sweet delicacies.
But if you want to get your mouth watering, we recommend you visit the small producers directly, usually companies that preserve their family and artisanal structure. That's the case of El Andral, in the village of Selaya, a bakery that also owns a dairy farm, which ensures the maximum quality of the raw material.
Clearly, one of the most authentic ways to enjoy Pasiegos Valleys is to try its delicious local products, while you complete your rural experience in any of its charming rural houses.