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A Glossary of Spanish Food Terms

Use this list to decipher tapas menus and explore!

A
Aceite: oil
Aceituna: olive
Acelgas: swiss chard
Adobo: marinated
Afoga el pitu: a type of cheese
Agua: water
Aguacate: avocado
Aguardiente: distilled liquor
Ahumado: smoked
Ajo: garlic
Albóndiga: meatball
Almejas: clams
Almendra: almond
Anchoa: anchovy
Anguila: eel
Ancas de rana: frog's legs
Arroz: rice
Asado: roast
Atún: tuna
B
Banderilla: an appetizer on a skewer
Berenjena: aubergine
Bocadillo: a sandwich
Bogavante: lobster
Bollo: bread roll
Bacalao: cod
Bota: leather wine bottle
Buñuelo: fritter
Burgos: soft ewes' milk cheese
C
Caballa: mackerel
Cabrito: kid goat
Cafe americano: espresso, but with much more water
Cafe con leche: coffee with milk, hot or cold
Cafe con hielo: Coffee with ice
Cafe cortado: espresso with a dash of milk
Cafe solo: Black espresso
Calabacín: courgette
Calabaza: pumpkin
Calamar: squid
Callos: tripe
Camarón: prawn
Canalones: canneloni pasta
Cangrejo: crab
Caracol: snail
Cardo: wild mushrooms
Carne: meat
Carne de Vaca: beef
Carne de Ternera: veal
Centolla: spider crab
Ciruela: plum
Cebolla: onion
Cena: dinner
Cerdo: pork
Cerveza: beer
Champiñones: mushrooms
Chorizo: spicy spanish pork sausage
Churros: dough deep fried and coated in sugar. eaten for breakfast, with hot chocolate
Cigala: crayfish
Cochinillo: suckling pig
Col: cabbage
Coliflor: cauliflower
Concha: clam
Conejo: rabbit
Cordero: lamb
Criadillas: testicles of beef or lamb,
Croqueta: A deep fried ball stuffed with various fillings
D
Desayuno: breakfast
Dátil: date
Despojos: offal, variety meats
Dulce de membrillo: quince jelly
Dorada: type of fish good for grilling
E
Embutido: sausage
Empanada: savory pastry often filled with tuna
Empanadilla: small pie
Emperador: swordfish
Entremeses: starters
Escabeche: marinaded, pickled
Ensalada: salad
Espárragos: asparagus
Especias: spices
Estofado: stew
Espinacas: spinach
FFabes: dried butter beans
Fiambre: cold cuts, sliced meats
Fideo: vermicelli
Flamear: to flambé
Fino: dry sherry
Flan: baked pudding similar to a caramel custard
Foie-gras: goose liver
G
Gambas: shrimp, prawns
Garbanzo: chick peas
Gazpacho: cold pepper and tomato soup from Andalusia
Guisantes: peas
Gallina: hen
Girasol: sunflowers
Grelos: turnip greens
Guarnición: garnish
Guindillas: chili pepper
H
Habas: broadbeans
Helado: ice cream
Higado: liver
Horno: oven
Huevo: egg
Harina: flour
Hierbabuena: mint
JJamón Ibérico: blackhoof cured ham
Jamón Serrano: cured ham
Jérez: sherry
Judías: beans
L
Langosta: rock lobster
Leche: milk
Lechuga: lettuce
Lengua: tongue
Lomo: loin of pork
Laurel: bay leaf
Lenguado: sole
Lenteja: lentil
Liebre: hare
Lombrada: red cabbage
Lubina: seabass
Limón: lemon
M
Manteca: lard
Mantequilla: butter
Manzanas: apples
Manzanilla: sherry
Mariscos: shellfish
Mayonesa: Mayonnaise
Mazapán: marzipan
Melocotón: peach
Melón: melon
Membrillo: quince
Menú del día: menu of the day
Mercado: market
Merienda: late afternoon snack
Merluza: hake
Mero: grouper (fish)
Mejillón: mussel
Mollejas: sweetbreads
Miel: honey
Morcilla: bloodsausage
N
Nabos: turnips
Naranja: orange
Nata: cream
Nuez (Nueces): nut (nuts)
Nuez moscada: nutmeg
Navaja: razor clam
Nécora: small boxlike crab
Nyora: sweet dried pepper
O
Oca: goose
Ostra: oyster
P
Paella: Valencian rice dish cooked in a broad flat pan, the paelleraPaloma: pigeon or dove
Palometa: pompano (fish)
Pan: bread
Panadería: bakery
Panceta: fatty bacon
Patata: potato
Pato: duck
Pavo: turkey
Parrila: grill
Pascua: Easter
Pastel: pie or pastry
Pepino: cucumber
Perejil: parsley
Perdiz: partridge
Pescado: fish
Pimienta: pepper (as in peppercorns)
Pimiento: sweet bell pepper
Pisto: sweet pepper and aubergine stew
Pollo: chicken
Puerros: leeks
Pulpo: octopus
Piña: Pineapple
Pinchos - pintxos: small snacks served as tapa.
Pincho moruno: small kebab
Plátano: banana
Puchero: boiled dinner
Puerros: leeks
Q
Queso: cheese
Quisquillas: small shrimps
R
Raciones: large version of a tapa, served in bars
Roscos: doughnut cakes or buns
Rebozado: batter-dipped and fried
Rabo: tail (meat cut)
Rodaballo: Turbot
Riñones: kidneys
Rape: monkfish
Rebozado: batter-dipped and fried
Remolacha: beet
Repollo: cabbage
Revueltos: (scrambled egg)
S
Sal: salt
Salsa: sauce
Salchicha: sausage
Salchichón: cured pork sausage
Salmorejo: a thicker type of gazpacho.
Sesos: brains
Sopa: soup
Sidra: Apple cider
Sangría: wine punch
Sepia: cuttlefish
Seta: wild mushrooms
Solomillo: tenderloin of meat
Sopa: soup
Suizos: sweet bread
T
Taberna: tavern
Tarta: cake
Tascas: tabernas that serve drinks and tapas
Tetilla: type of cheese
Tocino: fresh pork fat
Ternera: veal
Tortilla Española: Spanish fried potato omelette
Tostado: toasted
Trucha: trout
Trufas: truffles
U
Uvas: grapes
Ulloa: cheese from Galicia
VVenado: venison
Verduras: green vegetables
Vieiras: scallops
Vino: wine
Z
Zanahorias: carrots
Zarzuela: seafood stew
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