The cuisine of this region combines the simplicity
of dishes such as sopa de ajo, made of garlic, paprika and bread,
or migas de pastor ("shepherd´s breadcrumbs")
from Soria, with more elaborate dishes like menestra de verduras,
a combination of vegetables from the market gardens which are
to be found in river basins and areas watered by the Canals of
Castilla and Campos, or on the Riojan riverbanks.
As this is an area of cereal and pulse cultivation, these products are to be found everywhere: lentils and chick peas have always formed the staple diet. Meals are always accompanied by good bread, such as hogaza, a heavy flat loaf made from flour from the local mills, completing the cycle of cereal production in the region.
At the heart of local cooking are farmyard poultry, rabbit and suckling pig, which are always present on the best menus. Stewed local pigeon, product of the many dovecots... pickled game... beef and lamb casseroles and roasts. Not forgetting the pig: hams, chorizos and Spanish sausages, cured meats....... and, a local peculiarity, cecina, made of horse meat in the area of Tierra de Campos.
Fish is also present in local gastronomy, the result of trade with ports in the north of the peninsula: casseroles and other dishes with cod, hake or bream. And of course trout, usually served fried with ham, or freshwater crabs in sauce. In Soria, a local speciality is cured cod.
The cheeses are renowned for their strong aroma and flavour, usually made of sheep´s milk, and occasionally a mixture of sheep and cow´s milk. The most highly-prized are those from Cerrato, or from Villalón in Valladolid. The Soria region produces exquisite goat´s cheeses.
Good food must be accompanied by good wine. Here we find wines described as Denominación de Origen, meaning they meet consistently high standards: Ribera del Duero, dark red wines, aged in oak barrels; the young, fresh whites of Rueda, made with the Verdejo grape, and the fruity rosés of Cigales. Not forgetting, of course, the famous Rioja wines - reds, whites and rosés - the most traditional and well-known in the entire region.
For dessert we have biscuits from Aguilar, whose aroma scents the air in the entire region, the mantecadas of Carrion (sponge cakes), and tocino de cielo ("heavenly bacon" - a sweet made with egg yolk and sugar) from Palencia. Pine nuts, present in the cuisine of Valladolid, almendras garrapiñadas (caramel-coated almonds), pan lechuguino (milk bread), bollos (sweet buns).... and the sweet morcilla of Soria (made with raisins and pine nuts). Without a doubt, a very wide choice.