Soria is a land to be explored, gastronomically and otherwise. Replete with its own stars, among which butter stands above all the rest: Soria butter, a touristic fetish. It rings a bell with almost everyone, but who really knows exactly what Soria butter is? Imagine the landscape, the green hills and pastures, the cold land… perfect land for cows to nourish themselves substantially. From the fine grasses and effort comes Cañada Real (975222613., a company that makes splendid butter, one of the best in all of Spain, and Mantequerías York (975233736. who prepare their base with a syrup of sugar dissolved in water and then convert it into – and the metaphor is fitting here – chantilly butter, a delicacy, a transformation of the sweet milk into a gastronomic celebrity.

Soria is famous for its wild mushrooms and black truffles, but above all for its industry of transforming products and ingredients, offering fragrant oils, mousses, vacuum packed fried goods, frozen foods, preserves… a multitude of culinary products and preparations. If Arotz has become the all-pervading brand in the market, considering its commercial reach, then Elfos, of Wild Fungi (975373136., is synonymous with the finest quality products. Mushrooms… and French fries too. Three artisanal companies have attained prestige by specializing in this snack. If we had to choose one name, it would have to be Añavieja (975383131. who, in their organic range, with regional potatoes harvested at 1,000 meters, fried in virgin olive oil of Lerida (organic as well) push this snack to new heights. Mushrooms, French fries and superb sheep milk cheeses. Falling somewhere between a Castellano and an un-smoked Idiazabal, Sierra de las Merinas truly stands out (975381268. It is fabricated in the port town of Oncala by an artisanal company that also produces a cheese similar to Torta de Casar or La Sirena. The milk confers an exceptional quality that few cheeses of the peninsula possess. We repeat: Sierra de las Merinas, superb. Mushrooms, French fries, cheeses and torreznos (fried, sliced pancetta or bacon). The bars and restaurants of the capital seem quite proud to have turned pancetta into a culinary emblem.

The cuisine is here as well, waiting to be discovered. A young, emerging cuisine that is ambitious and brazen. In Oncala, a village of around 40 people, the Rincón del Trashumante (975381088) heroically survives. For 25 €, Alfonso Romero will prepare you a sumptuous meal: crispy cheese with tomato and poppy seed preserves, sautéed mushrooms with ham and tomato foam, lamb feet “grandma’s way” and stewed pork cheeks with chickpea foam. Next spring, the chef is opening a spot in Soria with the same name: Rincón del Trashumante, Eduardo Saavedra, 4. And in the charming town of Vinuesa you will find a wonderful establishment, the first in the region of its kind: Alvargonzalez (975378505). Oscar García makes a show of his sensible, reflective and “possibilist” cuisine, transmitting a progressive gastronomic message supported by historical references. Inspired by legendary recipes, he reproduces familiar flavors with inconformity and creativity. Two examples, the most dazzling of the menu, emphatically confirm the style. An unusual, appeasing way to interpret the fried egg: the yolk, frozen, with a flan-like texture, is served at room temperature surrounded by a velvety potato puree crowned and embroidered with a few croutons with truffle. In short, one reveres the abundance, appreciating the surprising sensations of flavor and texture, respecting the idiosyncrasy. Another stunning vision of a classic, this time a stew, is the potaje de vigilia (a meatless Lent stew): low-temperature cod, immaculate, amazingly juicy and beautifully tinted green, swimming in a decadent, gelatinized soup of garbanzo beans with a gelatin infusion of raw spinach that dissolves and intermingles on contact with the stock, a few legumes and a pumpkin air… among words to describe it: beautiful, intelligent, complex… sublime. In short, a few reasons why they speak of the gastronomic beauty of the Soria landscape.