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Spanish Food Terms You Must Know


spain spanish food terms

Want to know more about Spanish cuisine? If so, you’ll want to understand a bit about Spain and get familiar with some basic Spanish food terms.

Spain is a southern European country located on the Iberian Peninsula. It is bordered by France and Andorra to the northeast, Portugal to the west

Spanish cuisine

Spanish cuisine is quite diverse, varying from region to region. Generally speaking, the northern areas like the Basque region include meats and poultry in their meals. On the other hand, southern areas like Sevilla have a greater focus on seafood due to its proximity to the sea.

The taste of Spanish food is often simple, yet bold. The flavors of Spanish cuisine come from these most frequently used local ingredients: salt, paprika, saffron, extra virgin olive oil, olives, garlic, tomatoes and onions.

Spanish food terms

Expand your international dining vocabulary with these basic food-related words translated from English to Spanish.

meat – carne

  • pork – cerdo
  • beef – carne de vaca (literal translation “meat of cow”)

poultry – aves de corral

  • turkey – pavo
  • duck – pato
  • chicken – pollo

seafood – mariscos

  • fish – pescado
  • shrimp – camarónes
  • oyster – ostra
  • shellfish – mariscos

meatless/no meat – sin carne

  • vegetables – vegetales
  • fruits – frutas
  • eggs – huevos
  • tofu – tofu
  • nuts – nueces
  • vegetarian – vegetariano (male) / vegetariana (female)
  • vegan – vegano (male) / vegana (female)

drinks – bebidas

  • water – agua
  • alcohol – alcohol
  • beer – cerveza
  • wine – vino

other eating/dining-related terms

  • yes –
  • no – no
  • good – bueno
  • yummy – sabroso
  • eat – comer (literally “to eat”)
  • cook – cocinar
  • I’m hungry – tengo hambre
  • I’m full – estoy lleno
  • more – más
  • less – menos
  • only – solo
  • please – por favor
  • thank you – gracias
  • baked – horneado
  • fried – frito
  • grilled – a la parilla
  • roasted – asado
  • steamed – cocer al vapor
  • hot – caliente
  • warm – caliente
  • cold – frío
  • bitter – amargo
  • salty – salado
  • spicy – picante
  • sweet – dulce
  • allergic – alérgico
  • bathroom – el baño

Watch this video to hear how letters and words sound in Spanish from Spain vs. Spainsh from Latin America.

Spanish food to try

  • arroz negro – seafood rice in squid ink
  • bocadillos – ham, cheese, pork and/or seafood sandwiches in Spanish bread/baguette
  • chorizo – well-seasoned pork sausage
  • gazpacho – a chilled vegetable soup
  • jamon iberico – Iberian ham
  • paella – a seasoned rice dish with meat (seafood, chicken, duck and/or rabbit)
  • tapas – small plates of savory bites/snacks

Interested in learning about other cuisines around the world? Discover food terms from other countries here.


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