Spanish A-Z Food Dictionary: Your Comprehensive Guide to Culinary Translations

By: Genevieve Mc Carthy / Last updated: April 9, 2024

Welcome to our comprehensive and convenient food glossary tailored for your unforgettable vacation in Spain! Whether you’re an adventurous food enthusiast or simply curious about Spanish cuisine, this translation guide from Spanish to English will be your trusty companion. Perfectly designed for printing, you can carry it wherever you go, ensuring you never miss out on Spain’s delightful flavors.

spanish-food-names
spanish-food-names

Our glossary covers many ingredients, including seafood and fish, succulent meats, luscious fruits and vegetables, creamy dairy products, delicious nuts, and much more. We have meticulously compiled this list to encompass the majority of items you’ll come across on menus, allowing you to explore the diverse culinary landscape of Spain confidently.

Attention, wine enthusiasts! Don’t forget to explore our dedicated Spanish wine glossary, where you’ll find a treasure trove of information to deepen your appreciation of Spain’s renowned winemaking traditions. We strive for perfection and aim to provide you with the most comprehensive resource possible. If there’s an ingredient you believe should be included in this list, please get in touch with us. We value your input and want to ensure this glossary remains a valuable reference for every curious palate.

With this indispensable culinary guide, get ready to embark on an extraordinary gastronomic journey through Spain’s vibrant and diverse cuisine. Let your taste buds be tantalized as you delve into a world of captivating flavors, rich traditions, and culinary delights that will leave you craving more.

A

  • 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

B

  • Bacalao – codfish or salted codfish
  • Batidos – milkshakes
  • Barquillos – biscuit rolls
  • Berberechos – Cockles
  • Berenjena – aubergine. As a tapa, it usually comes stuffed with béchamel and ham
  • Berza – cabbage
  • Besugo -sea bream
  • Bistec de ternera – veal steak
  • Bocadillo – A Sandwich
  • Bogavante – Lobster
  • Bonito – Tuna
  • Boquerones – Fresh Anchovies
  • a la Brasa – cooked over embers
  • buñuelos – lightly fried pastries
  • Butifarra -a type of sausage particularly popular in Catalonia and the Balearics

C

  • Caballa – Mackerel
  • Cabrales – blue veined cows milk cheese from Asturias
  • Cabrito Asado – roast kid
  • Cacahuetes- peanuts
  • Café Americano – large white coffee
  • Café con leche – white coffee
  • Café cortado – white coffee in a small cup
  • Café sólo – black coffee
  • Calabacines – courgettes
  • Calabaza – Pumpkin
  • Calamares – squid
  • Caldo – soup
  • Callos – tripe
  • Camarónes – Shrimp
  • Canela – cinnamon
  • Cangrejo – crab
  • Caracoles – snails
  • Caramelos – sweets
  • Carne – meat
  • Castaña – chestnut
  • Cazón – dogfish
  • Cebollas – onions
  • Cena – Evening Meal / Dinner
  • Centollo – spider crab
  • Cerezas – cherries
  • Cerveza – beer
  • Cerdo – Pork
  • Champiñónes – mushrooms
  • Chorizo – Spicy sausage
  • Cherne – wreckfish or stone bass
  • Chuletas – Chops
  • Churros – deep-fried pastry
  • Cigala – crayfish
  • Cigarra – flat lobster
  • Ciruelas – plums
  • Cochinillo – roast suckling pig
  • Cocido – chickpeas-based stew with meat
  • Codorniz – Quail
  • Col – cabbage
  • Coles de Bruselas – Brussels sprouts
  • Coliflor – cauliflower
  • Conejo – rabbit
  • Costillas – ribs
  • Cordero – lamb
  • Crema Catalana – crème brulée
  • Criadillas – Testicles, Beef Or Lamb
  • Croqueta -A Deep Fried Bechamel
  • Crudo – raw
  • Crujiente, Crocante – crispy
  • Cuchara – Spoon
  • Cuchillo- Knife

D

  • Datiles – dates
  • Desayuno – Breakfast
  • Dorada – A type of white fish popular in the Levante (literally, “Golden”), Mahi Mahi
  • Dulce – sweet

E

  • Empanada – pastry with meat or fish
  • En Escabeche – In a tomato, aubergine, courgette based salsa; pickled
  • Endivias – endives
  • Ensalada – salad
  • entrecot – entrêcot steak
  • Escalfado – poached
  • Escalope – Breaded Meat
  • Espinaca – spinach
  • Espárragos – asparagus
  • Estofado – a stew
  • Estragón – tarragon

F

  • Fabada – bean-based stew
  • Faisán – pheasant
  • Fideos – small noodles
  • Filete – filets of meat
  • Flan – caramel custard
  • Fresas – strawberries
  • Frito – Fried
  • Fruta – fruit

G

  • Galera – mantis shrimp
  • Gallina – hen
  • Gambas – shrimp
  • Garbanzos -chickpeas
  • Gazpacho – in Andalusia, this is a cold vegetable soup
  • Granada – Pomegranate
  • Guisado – Casserole
  • Guisantes – Green peas

H

  • Habas – Broad beans
  • Helado – Ice cream
  • Higado -liver
  • Higos – Figs
  • Hinojo – fennel
  • Huevos – eggs

I-L

  • 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
  • Jugo – juice
  • Langosta – lobster
  • Langostinas – King Prawns
  • Leche – milk
  • Lechón/Tostón / Cochinillo – suckling pig
  • Lengua- tongue
  • Lenguado – sole fish/ flounder
  • Liebre – hare
  • Limón – lemon
  • Lubina – Sea Bass

M

  • Mahón – soft cow’s milk cheese from the Balearic islands
  • Mandarinas – tangerines
  • Manos de cerdo – Pigs trotters
  • Mantecadas – small sponge cakes
  • Mantequilla – butter
  • Manzana – apple
  • Manzanilla – dry sherry
  • Mariscada – seafood platter
  • Mariscos – seafood
  • Mejillones – mussels
  • Melocotón – peach
  • melón – melon
  • Membrillo – quince, a quince “jam,” usually served with cheese
  • Menestra – vegetable and meat casserole
  • Menu Del Dia – Menu of the day (fixed price)
  • Merluza – hake fish
  • Mero a la Parrilla – Grilled grouper
  • Mesa – Table
  • Miel – honey
  • Morcilla – blood pudding made with Paprika and rice, most famous comes from Burgos

N

  • Nabos – turnips
  • Nata – cream
  • Natillas – cream custard
  • Naranja – orange
  • Navajas – razor clams
  • Necora – swimming crab
  • Nísperos – loquat
  • Ñora – dried small red peppers “dulce” sweet or “picante” hot
  • Nueces – walnuts

O

  • Oca – goose
  • Orujo – grape base spirit
  • oreja (de cerdo) – pigs’ ears
  • Ostras – oysters

P

  • Paella – famous rice dish seasoned with saffron and usually made with seafood, meat, and vegetables
  • Paloma – Pigeon Or Dove
  • Pan – bread
  • Pancetta – Streaky Bacon
  • Parrilla – barbeque
  • Parrillada – barbeque
  • Pasteles – cakes
  • Patatas – potatoes
  • Patatas Bravas – potatoes in a spicy sauce
  • Patatas puré – mashed potatoes
  • Pato – duck
  • Pavo – turkey
  • Pepinillos – gherkins
  • Pepino – cucumber
  • Pescado – fish
  • Pera – pear
  • Percebes – goose barnacles
  • Perdiz – partridge
  • Perejil – parsley
  • Pescadilla – whiting
  • Pescaditos fritos – fried fish
  • Pescado – fish
  • Pez de San Pedro – John Dory
  • Pez Espada – swordfish
  • Pimienta – black pepper
  • Pimientas Rellenas – stuffed peppers
  • Pimientos – peppers (rojos- red, verdes- green, amarillos- yellow)
  • Pinchos morunos – kebabs
  • Piña – pineapple
  • piñones – pine nuts
  • Piperada – sweet pepper omelet.
  • Pisto Manchego – ratatouille type stew
  • Plátano – bananas
  • Platos combinados – mixed plate (e.g., chips, eggs, chorizo/sausage)
  • Pollo – chicken
  • Pomelo – grapefruit
  • Potaje – a thick soup
  • Puerros – leeks
  • Pulpo – octopus

Q

  • Queso – cheese
  • Queso de oveja – Sheep’s cheese
  • Quisquillas – shrimps

R

  • Rábanos – radish
  • Rape – monkfish, anglerfish, or frogfish
  • Raya – skate
  • Remolacha – Beetroot
  • Revuelto – scrambled eggs, usually prepared with ham, mushrooms, or peppers
  • Riñones – kidneys
  • Rodaballo – turbot
  • A la Romana – battered (Calamares, Merluza, etc)
  • Romero – rosemary
  • Romesco/ Xato, Salbitxada – a red sauce for seafood from the Catalonian & Basque regions
  • Roscas – doughnut
  • Roncal – smokey flavored ewe’s milk cheese from Navarra

S

  • Sabor – taste, “It tastes like…” = “Sabe a .”
  • Sal – Salt
  • Salchica – thin pork sausage
  • Salmonete – red mullet
  • Salmón – salmon
  • Salmon Ahumado – smoked salmon
  • Salsa – sauce
  • Sandía – watermelon
  • Sardinas – sardines
  • Semidulce – medium sweet
  • Sepia – cuttlefish
  • Sesos – brains
  • Setas – wild mushrooms
  • Sidra – cider
  • Sofrito – a sauce made of olive oil, onion, and paprika
  • Solomillo – filet mignon/ tenderloin steak
  • Sopa – soup

T

  • Tallarines – noodles
  • Tarta – cake.
  • Tenedor – Fork
  • 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
  • Tostado – toasted
  • Tortilla – Spanish omelet, traditionally made with potato and onion and served as a tapa or light meal
  • Trucha – trout fish
  • Turrón – nougat

U-Z

  • Uvas – grapes
  • Vaso – Glass
  • Venado/ Ciervo – venison
  • Verduras – Vegetables
  • Vieiras / Zamburiña- scallops
  • Vino – wine
  • Zanahorias – carrots
  • Zarzuela – casserole
  • Zumo – juice

Basque Specialties

  • “al Pil-pil” – green sauce, served on fish, with a garlic and parsley base
  • “a la Bizkaina” – red sauce used on fish, with an onion and tomato base
  • Besugo – red bream
  • Bonito – similar to tuna
  • Centollo or Txangurro – spider crab
  • Ensalada de Angulas – baby eel salad
  • Kiskillas – prawns
  • Kokotxa – Basque specialty of Hake cheeks
  • Lubina a la pimienta Verde – sea bass with green pepper
  • Marmitako – a 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

Author

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Genevieve Mc Carthy

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One thought on “Spanish A-Z Food Dictionary: Your Comprehensive Guide to Culinary Translations

Josie Bennersays:

December 11, 2018 at 4:34 pm

I love this website!! I am doing a project of Spanish foods in Spanish class and this website helped me so much. Thanks

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