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Translations of Popular Spanish Food

Spanish Tapas Translated

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Decipher those unintelligible menus with this glossary of popular Spanish food. Print it out and put it in your wallet before you go - you'll be thankful for it when you're trying to avoid ordering the snails!

  • Allioli - Garlic mayo, no matter how ‘traditionally Catalan’ the waiter tells you it is

  • Albóndigas - Meatballs

  • Aceitunas - Olives

  • Bacalao - Cod

  • Boquerones - Anchovies

  • Berenjenas - Eggplant/Aubergine

  • Calamares - Fried squid rings.

  • Caracoles - Snails

  • Cazón - Dogfish, usually fried.

  • Chorizo - Spicy sausage

  • Gambas - Prawns, often fried in garlic (al ajillo)

  • Gazpacho - often unappetizingly described as a cold soup, but perhaps more accurately referred to as a liquid salad

  • Jamón Serrano/Iberico - cured ham. A national obsession. Melón con jamon Serrano is not a typo – it really is melon and ham.

  • Lomo - Pork loin

  • Merluza - Hake

  • Migas - Fried breadcrumbs

  • Morcilla - Black pudding

  • Paella - Erm, paella. Read more on Paella in Spain

  • Pan con tomate - Bread topped with tomato, oil and garlic. The most typically Catalan dish, simple but delicious. Can be eaten on its own or with cold meats and cheeses.

  • Pisto - Stew of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and zucchini

  • Pulpo - octopus

  • Salchichón - Sausage or salami

  • Tortilla - Spanish omelette with potato and onion.

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