The Valleys of the Pas Region, a Cultural Landscape

It is no coincidence that our company has a strong attachment to the land of our birth. Neither is the fact that it is only this region that is bestowed with the confectioners of the artisan cakes and desserts —the Pasiega Quesada and Sobao cake— that most represent the artisan confectionary of Cantabria.

The entire history of human occupation of the Pas territory has been linked to a pastoral economy, dairy production and intensive use of the pastures (nearly five centuries have passed since the first shepherds were ordered by the ecclesiastics of Oña to establish a stable population by the headwaters of the Pas valleys of Cantabria).

The Pasiega tradition, which notoriously holds the cow as its revered totem for the region and dairy farming as an essential component of their secular economic model, is where the first cheese and butter dairies in the region began to spring up long before the first manufacturing facilities in the region had reached their peak, by which time the Pasiegos were already renowned for their consummate skill in making cheese and butter, as well as ice-cream. The region has been at the forefront of the dairy manufacturing tradition since the late nineteenth century, becoming the strategic location for large companies in the sector such as El Buen Pastor & Nestle.

The Pasiego Quesadas and Sobaos are the latest products to inherit that long-standing tradition of dairy commerce and regional marketing. The whole history of human use and exploitation of the agricultural area for dairy production presents a cultural and historical landscape, which in our work we feel closely linked to.

Ours is a cultural landscape that is still alive and active in the action of man on a natural space. Our landscape of gradual slopes shaped to suit the needs of livestock management, with farms occupying all available space and the meadow as a basic element of the landscape, dry stone walls carving out the outlines of the farm, thousands of barns and cottages dot the landscape here and there as the basic unit of habitat, and the original forest areas, constrained to the wetter valleys, mark the dividing lines between on farm and another or less accessible steeper areas.

 

In the following links you will find the main Tourist Guides for the ‘Valles Pasiegos’ (Pas Region) (PDF version)