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Here is a handy food glossary (Spanish to English) which can be printed out and used on your vacation in Spain. We have included most of the ingredients you will see on menus including seafood and fish, meat, fruit and vegetables, dairy, nuts and more. Wine lovers, check out our Spanish wine glossary here. If there is any ingredient we should add to this list, get in touch. ¡Buen provecho!

Colorful market stall, Spain

Colorful market stall, Spain


Abulon – abalone
Adobo – marinaded in vinegar and spice (often cumin)
Almeja – clam
Aceituna – olive
Agridulce – sweet and sour
Ajo – garlic
Albahaca – basil
Alcachofa – artichoke
Alcaparras – capers
Albóndigas – meatballs
Alcachofa – artichoke
Allioli – A popular sauce in Catalonia made from garlic oil (garlic mayonnaise).
Almendras – almonds
Anchoas – anchovies
Ahumado – smoked.
Arenque – herring
Arroz – rice.
Almejas – clams
Angulas – baby eels
Atún – tuna.
Azafrán – Saffron
Bacalao – codfish or salted codfish
Berenjena – aubergine. As a tapa, it usually comes stuffed with béchamel and ham
Besugo -sea bream
a la Brasa – cooked over embers
Butifarra -a type of sausage particularly popular in Catalonia and the Balearics
Caballa – Mackerel
Cabrales – blue veined cows milk cheese from Asturias
Cabrito asado – roast kid
Cacahuetes– peanuts
Calamares – squid
Callos – tripe
Canela – cinnamon
Cangrejo – crab
Castaña – chestnut
Cazón – dogfish
Cebollas – onions
Cherne – wreckfish or stone bass
Cigala – crayfish
Cigarra – flat lobster
Col – cabbage
Codorniz – Quail
Conejo – rabbit
Costillas – ribs
Crudo – raw
Crujiente, crocante – crispy
Dorada – A type of white fish popular in the Levante (literally, “Golden”), Mahi Mahi


En Escabeche – In a tomato, aubergine, courgette based salsa; pickled
Ensalada – salad
Escalfado – poached
Estofado – a stew
Flan – caramel custard
Galera – mantis shrimp
Gambas – shrimp
Garbanzos -chick peas
Gazpacho – in Andalusia this is a cold vegetable soup; in La Mancha it is a hearty stew.
Guisantes – Green peas
Habas – Broad beans
Helado – Ice cream
Higado -liver
Higos – Figs
Hinojo – fennel
Huevos – eggs


Idiazábal – smoked ewe’s milk cheese from the Basque Country
Jamón – ham
Jabugo – a small town in Andalucia famous for excellent Jamón Jabugo
Judías – dry beans
Langosta – lobster
Lechón/Tostón / Cochinillo – suckling pig
Lenguado – sole fish/ flounder
Liebre – hare


Mahón – soft cow’s milk cheese from the Balearic islands
Mantequilla – butter
Manzana – apple
Mariscos – seafood
Mejillones – mussels
Melocotón – peach
Membrillo – quince, a quince “jam”, usually served with cheese
Menestra – vegetable and meat casserole
Morcilla – blood pudding made with Papika and rice, most famous comes from Burgos
Merluza – hake fish
Miel – honey
Natillas – cream custard
Naranja -orange
Necora – swimming crab
Ñora – dried small red peppers “dulce” sweet or “picante” hot
Oca – duck
Ostras – oysters
Paella – famous rice dish seasoned with saffron and usually made with seafood, meat, and vegetables
Pan – bread
Patatas – potatoes
Pato – duck
Pescado – fish
Pera – pear
Perdiz – partridge
Percebes – goose barnacles, a superb delicacy of the northern coast, won from the sea at some risk to the fishermen. These days, Percebes are dear, following the disastrous oil spill in Galicia last autumn.
Pez de San Pedro – John Dory
Pez Espada – swordfish
Pimienta – black pepper
Pimientos – peppers (rojos- red, verdes- green, amarillos- yellow)
Piña – pineapple
Piperada – sweet pepper omelet.
Pisto Manchego – ratatouille type stew
Plátano – bananas
Pollo – chicken
Pomelo – grapefruit
Puerros – leeks
Pulpo – octopus


Queso – cheese
Rape – monkfish, angler fish or frog fish
Raya – skate
Revuelto – scrambled eggs, usually prepared with ham, mushrooms or peppers
A la Romana – battered (Calamares, Merluza, etc)
Romero – rosemary
Romesco/ Xato, Salbitxada – a red sauce for seafood from the Catalonian & Basque regions
Rodaballo – turbot fish
Roncal – smoky flavored ewe’s milk cheese from Navarra
Sabor – taste, “It tastes like…” = “Sabe a .”
Salchica – thin pork sausage
Salmonete – red mullet
Sardinas – sardines
Sepia – cuttlefish
Setas – wild mushrooms
Sidra – cider
Sofrito – sauce made of olive oil, onion and paprika
Solomillo – filet mignon/ tenderloin steak
Sopa – soup
Tarta – cake.
Ternera – veal
Ternera Picada – minced beef.
Tetilla – Pear-shaped cow’s milk cheese from Galicia. Named for its resemblance to a woman’s breast.
Tiburon – shark
Tila – linden tea
Tomate – tomato
Tomillo – thyme
Tortilla – Spanish omelet, traditionally made with potato and onion and served as a tapa or light meal
Trucha – trout fish


Venado/ ciervo – venison
Vieiras / Zamburiña– scallops
Zanahorias – carrots
Zarzuela – casserole
Zumo – juice

Basque Specialties

Besugo – red bream
Bonito – similar to tuna
Centollo or Txangurro – spider crab
Ensalada de Angulas – baby eel salad
Kiskillas – prawns
Kokotxa – Basque speciality of Hake cheeks
Lubina a la pimienta verde – sea bass with green pepper
Marmitako – typical soupy dish made of bonito fish, potatoes, onions, peppers, and tomato.
Mero – grouper
Ne’coras – small, boxlike crabs
Perretxiku – springtime mushrooms
Porrusalda – soup made from leeks, mushrooms and potatoes
Txirlas – baby white clams
Txipirones en su tinta – squid prepared in its own ink
“al Pil-pil” – green sauce, served on fish, with a garlic and parsely base
“a la Bizkaina” – red sauce, used on fish, with an onion and tomato base

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If you would like us to customize an exclusive, luxury tour for you, get in touch with us and let us know your travel plans. We offer luxury food and wine tours for private groups of minimum 2 guests. All of our private, chauffeured tours are available year round upon request.

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Cellar Tours Private Luxury Food & Wine Tours

Cellar Tours

Cellar Tours is a Luxury Travel Specialist, operating since 2003 and offering exclusive Mercedes chauffeured Gourmet Vacations in Chile, France, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, South Africa, and Spain. We specialize in luxurious custom designed vacations, events and incentives related to food and wine. We are proud members of Slow Food, UNAV (Travel Agency Association in Spain), and the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals).

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