Cantabria is sea, mountain, rivers, orchards and much more. This geographic diversity makes possible its own gastronomic culture: its fertile lands and its extensive valleys feed their native cattles and its rich and brave sea also offers the best of itself. Moreover, cantabrian gastronomy keeps tradition as a distintive signal and it is reasonable to say that this is a land of flavors.
Wherever you look at, authentic flavors can be found in its local cuisine. Beef has international recognition and its own Protected Geographical Indication, and it is not surprising, as the wealth of this land fed the cattle with the best raw material. If we look at the sea, we find also the seafood caught in the cold and choppy waters of the Cantabrico sea and we see around a longlasting fishing segment.
Anchovy of Santoña
It is not for nothing that the preserves of the Cantabrian anchovy is also internationally recognized and has the seal of controlled quality.
There are several denominations of origin (DO) existing in Cantabria: for example, in the field of cheeses, we find cheeses DO Picón Bejes-Tresviso, “de Cantabria” and the “quesucos de Liébana”. Cheeses that are distinguished by their creaminess and of course, because of their Tudancas, Pardo-Alpinas, and Frisian milk cows.
Other protected geographical indication is that of its famous “Sobaos Pasiegos”, whose production has been preserved for years, starting in traditional houses up to today where there are genuine craft workshops that keep the recipe and living traditions of this very special Patisserie.
The sobaos pasiegos are produced precisely there, in the “Valles Pasiegos”, an area in Cantabria known for its extensive green valleys and beautiful landscapes. The recipe is simple recipe, but to admire, because it is this simple taste and recipe that makes it so special.
The traditional Cantabrian cuisine is based in spoon dishes. In fact, throughout its territory we will find delicious dishes in which legumes and vegetables as protagonists, such as the Liébana stews (made from chickpeas), the mountain stew (called "cocido montañés", made from beans) or the caricos (a type of red bean) with chorizo.
The traditional Cantabrian cuisine is still very much appreciated, however local gastronomy has also been able to get adapted to the new times and with. With the excellent raw materials of the region it is not surprising that today there are plenty of restaurants with great recognition and that even have crept into the prestigious Michelin Guide. Without going any further, Annua of Óscar Calleja, and the Cenador de Amós of Jesús Sánchez, are restaurants that have recently won their second Michel. In fact, these restaurants are considered among the best in Spain.