There is not a specific gastronomy of Santillana del Mar, which is not a coastal village as some people might think. If you want to know what to eat in Santillana del Mar we will talk about some typical dishes of the hill region and the coastal zone too.
First, the cocido montañés, a stew made of white beans – instead of chickpea, used in the cocido madrileño – and the pork byproducts (chorizo, blood sausage and bacon), apart from cabbage and collar greens; or a good fish soup.
In the Summer months, enjoy the marmita de bonito, name with which the Basque marmitako was named in San Vicente de la Barquera. Between the typical Cantabrian fish – hake and monkfish – the rodaballo and maganos (small calamari) with white rice are also delicious. Seafood is another great option. If you prefer meat, try the large steak of tudanca cow, with I.G.P., which is very tasty. If you like cheese try the cheese Nata de Cantabria (with D.O.P.=, apart from Cantabrian cheese from other regions such as the picón de Tresviso and the quesucos de Liébana.
As a dessert, rice pudding, natillas and puff pastry pies of Torrelavega. Every traveler that goes to Santillana should have a glass of milk and some la tableta cake, which started to be offered at the house of a hill cottage close to the Colegiata, Casa Quevedo. There, the owner Maria Luisa encouraged the tourists to make a stop along the way and try the fresh milk and the homemade cake, telling them that if they did so, they would get married soon. Nowadays, this idea has become very popular in the village.
You will also be able to buy the classic Sobaos Pasiegos (with I.G.P.) and the quesadas, a typical sweet made of milk, eggs, sugar, butter and lime. With time, many houses have transformed their low floors into stores, which offer sweets and hill cheese. At the Convento de San Ildefonso, in the outsides of town, the Dominica nuns make pastries and cakes that can be bought close to the convent.