A glossary, along with phrases and explanation of terms where literal translation is not useful is my end goal of this project. In my earlier versions of the list I simply sought out glossaries, anywhere I could find them on the Net. This resulted in several problems: 1) often there are errors in other peoples’ glossaries, often in spelling (esp. diacritical marks; also is singular or plural and genders, that is not using the base word one would find in proper dictionaries; 2) regional differences within Spain lead to confusion in either different spellings (or words) for the same food item or different items from the same word; 3) “Spanish”, of course, includes a lot more of the world than just Spain and often there are severe contradictions between different countries and I really want to stay focused on Spain (although hongo (mushroom) has appeared in Spanish menus and this is primarily a Latin American term, so even the Spanish are inconsistent on this); 4) many words don’t really have a translation to English because either they stand for themselves (e.g paella, chistorra) or a literal translation is not helpful (as already mentioned, see post on revuelto); 5) some colloquial or slang terms are used in Spain just as they are anywhere and these don’t translate easily; and, 6) sometimes food items are modified with brands or regional terms (de Tuledo) that are quite relevant but not terms that can be converted to English.

So many glossaries you find, as I did (the hard way) are fairly inaccurate and/or fail to provide much help for menus. This is the main reason I’m starting my v3.x effort from menus of restaurants in Spain. While I could look for all restaurants I could find I’m tying my search to my virtual walk along the Camino de Santiago. I started this project when I’d reached just west of Pamplona. So I’ve now covered about 20 miles looking at every restaurant along the way (they have to have webpages and then menus at the website to be useful). So I’ve covered the towns of Cizur Menor, Zariquiegui, Uterga, Muruzábal, Obanos, Puente la Reina, Mañeru, Cirauqui and figured I had enough raw material for my first cut at a glossary (English translation mostly based on Google Translate with some lookups in This is a fairly complete list based on no more than extractions from menus. Some words I’ve left off this list as they take more research to get them properly defined (e.g. “beef”, lots of different names for this, and cuts of meat). Other words the literal translation and/or quick searches are insufficient to get a useful (if there is one) definition. For v3.2 I have included terms from many restaurants in Palencia.

So this is v3.2 and I have a lot more to do to even begin to have anything approaching the final list but already my list is better than many of the others you can find on the Net.

Notation in this glossary includes: a) {x|y} which means a letter (sometimes word) can be either x or y, usually this is for gender in adjectives and thus {a|o}, b) [x] means an optional letter (sometimes) word, usually [s] or [es] for plurals (Note: the number in Spanish word may not match number in English word), and, c) stuff inside () is some sort of explanatory comment, not part of the translation per se.

Caution: This glossary comes from many sources and may have errors as I have not done the complete analysis (a large corpus with software collation) and careful editing to eliminate errors (or sometimes typos or spelling). While this list is less good than my goal it may be better than many other lists you’ll find.

a elección of your choice
a elegir to choose [from]
a la brasa blackened (on charcoal), rotisserie
a la espalda on the back (split fish pressed flat, fried on skin side)
a la parrilla grilled (on grill grate)
a la piedra cooking on a hot rock
a la plancha grilled (on iron plate)
a su gusto to your liking (as in how well done)
abuela Grandma’s, Grandmother’s
abundante abundant
aceite oil
aceite de oliva olive oil
aceite de oliva virgen virgin olive oil
aceite de oliva virgen extra extra virgin olive oil
aceituna[s] olive
acompañad[a|o}[s] accompanied
adobado marinated
agri{a|o} sour
agridulce sweet and sour
agua water
aguacate avocado
ahumado smoked
ajada garlic and paprika sauce
ajetes [tiernos] young garlic
ajo garlic
ajoarriero a pasta made with potatoes, garlic, egg and oil
al ajillo with garlic
al carbon charcoal
al centro in the center (of table, i.e. sharing)
al estilo X X style
al gusto to taste (doneness) to taste, presumably doneness, i.e. cooked to order
al horno baked
al peso by weight
albahaca basil
albaricoque apricot
albondigas meatloaf/meatballs
alcachofa[s] artichoke
alcaparras capers
Alemana German
alimentos food
aliñad{a|o} seasoned
aliñada dressed
aliño dressing
alitas wings
alli-olli alioli
almejas clams
almendras almonds
almíbar syrup
almuerzos lunches
alta high
alubias beans
anchoa[s] anchovy
anís aniseed
añojo yearing
anzuelo hook (as in caught by)
aperitivos fríos cold appetizers
arándanos blueberry
aroma aroma
aros rings
aros de cebolla onion rings
arrope syrup
arroz, arroces rice
artesan{a|o}[s] artisan
asad{a|o}[s] roasted/roast
asturiano Asturian
atún tuna
auténtica real
avellane[s] hazelnuts
azafrán saffron
azúcar sugar
azúcar glas icing sugar
bacalao cod
bacon bacon
baja low
baja temperature low temperature
balsámico balsamic
bandeja tray
barato cheap
barbacoa barbecue
barra baguette
bebida[s] drinks
beicon bacon
bellota acorn
berenjena[s] eggplant
besugo sea bream
bizcochitos biscuits
bizcocho sponge cake
blanc{a|o} white
blando soft
bocadillos sandwiches, snacks
bocaditos baby fingers
bocados morsels
bocatas sandwich (like sub, i.e. on roll)
bodega winery
bogavante lobster
bola ball (scoop for ice cream)
bollería bakery [goods]; pastries pastry
boquerones anchovies
borraja borage
brasas barbecued or fire grilled  (also a la brasas)
braseados braised
brocheta skewer
brotes shoots, sprouts
buey beef
cabra goat
cabracho red scorpion fish
cacahuete peanut
café coffee
calabacín zucchini
calamares squid
calamares en su tinta squid in ink
caldo stock
calidad quality
caliente hot
callos tripe (even ‘guts’)
campo propio our own field
campos field
canela cinnamon
canelone[s] cannelloni
cangrejo crab
canónigos corn salad (aka lamb’s lettuce)
Cantábrico Bay of Biscay
caracoles snails
caramelized{a|o}[s] caramelized
caramelo caramel
carbohidratos carbohydrates
cardo cardoon
careta de cerdo pigs’s face
carne[s] meat
carrillera[s] cheek[s]
carta a la carte menu
casa house
caser{a|o}[s] homemade
castañas chestnuts
Castellana Castilian
cava Spanish sparkling wine, i.e. “champagne”
cazuelita small casserole dish
cebolla onions
cebolleta chives
cecina cured and dried pork; smoked beef (which?)
centollo spider crab
cerdo pork
cerveza beer
chacinas cold meats
champiñones mushrooms
chapatas sandwich on small roll (like ciabatta)
chicharro horse mackerel
chipiron[es] squid
chistorra cured pork sausage typical of Aragon and Navarre
chocolate chocolate
chopitos baby squid, probably also means battered and fried
chorizo de Matanza chorizo from particular location of origin
chuleta chop, cutlet
chuletillas chops, small chops
chuletón T-bone steak
ciervo deer (venison)
cigalas crayfish
ciruela[s] plum[s]
cítricos citrus
clásic{a|o} classic
cliente client
cochinillo suckling pig
cocid{a|o} cooked (also boiled)
cocido boiled
cocina kitchen; cuisine
cocinada cooked
coco coconut
cocochas fleshy part of jaw (of fish)
codornices quail
cogollos hearts
cola tail
coliflor cauliflower
combinados combinations
comedor dining room
comensales guests
comidas meals
compota compote
compota de manzana applesauce
conejo rabbit
confitad{a|o} confit
confitados candied
confituras jams
consistencia consistency
consultar disponibilidad check availability
contramuslos thighs
copa cup
copita small glass
corazón[es] heart[s]
cordero lamb
cordero lechal suckling lamb
cosquera (koskera) traditional Basque stew
costilla[s] rack, ribs
crema cream
crema catalana Catalan cream (similar to the french crème brûlée but with milk)
crema pastelera custard (aka pastry cream)
cremos{a|o} creamy
criollo Creole
cristal crystal
croquetas croquettes
cruda raw
crujiente crunchy, crispy
cuajada curd
cuatro four
cuchara spoon
curación curing
curado cured
cuscus couscous
dados cubes
dátil[es] dates
de corral free range or farmyard
degustación tasting
del día of the day
delicioso delicious
desayunos breakfast
descafeinado decaffeinated
deshidratados dehydrated
diario daily
doble double
Domingo Sunday
dorada gilt-head bream
dos two
dulce sweet
duro hard
ecológica organic
elaboración preparation
elaborado artesanalmente handcrafted
embutido[s] sausage
empanado breaded
en fritura fried
en temporada in season
encargo custom (order)
encina oak
endivia[s] endives
eneldo dill
ensalada[s] salad
ensaladilla salad
entrante[s] starters
entrecot entrecote
entremeses appetizer, hors d’oeuvres
envuelto wrapped
escabechad{a|o}[s] pickled
Escocés Scottish
esparrago triguero wild asparagus
espárrago[s] asparagus
espárragos enteros blancos white whole asparagus
especiada spices
especialidad specialty
espinaca[s] spinach
espolvoreado sprinkled
esponjosa fluffy/spongy
espuma foam
estilo style
estofado stewed; stew
excelencia excellence
festivo holiday
fiambres cold cuts
fideos noodles
filete steak; fillet
fin de semana weekend
fin{a|o}[s] thin
finas hierbas fine herbs
flambeado flambé
flan flan
frambuesa[s] raspberry
Francesa French
fresa[s] strawberry[ies] strawberry
fresc{a|o}o[s] fresh
frí{a|o}[s] cold
frit{a|o}[s] fried
frut{a|o}[s] fruit
fruta de la pasión passion fruit
frutos secos nuts
fundido melted
gabardine batter coating
Gallego Galician
galleta[s] biscuit (aka cookie)
gambas prawns (medium size, other names tied to size)
gambones large shrimp
garbanzos chickpea
gelatina jelly
glaseadas glazed
gluten gluten
gotas drops
gramos grams
gratinad{a|o}[s] gratinated (au gratin)
gratinado grated (unlikely as rallar is to grate)
Griega Greek
grosella currant
guarnición[es] garnish
guindilla pepper
guisad{a|o}[s] stewed
guisantes peas
guisos stews
guisotes stews
gulas fake small eels /elvers
habitas bean (small)
hamburguesas burgers hamburger
harina de maíz cornmeal
hechos en casa homemade
helado ice cream
hielo ice
hierbabuena mint
hierbas herbs
hierbas provenzales Provencal herbs
higado liver
hoja leaf
hoja de parra grapeleaf
hojaldre puff pastry
hongos mushroom
horario hours
hornead{a|o}[s] baked
huertas garden; orchards (aka produce farm, market garden)
huevo egg
huevo duro hard-boiled egg
incluido included
ingredientes ingredients
intenso intense
Irlandés Irish
Italiana Italian
jalapeño jalapeño
jamón ham
Jamón Ibérico de Bellota acorn-fed Iberian ham
jenibre ginger
jerez sherry
jijas minced pork to make sausages, cooked as tapa
judia verde green beans
judío Jewish
Jueves Thursday
jugo[s] juice[s]
jugosas juicy
jurel horse mackerel
kebap kebab
kokochas (k is Basque, so Spanish is cocochas) fleshy part of the jaw
lacón dried pork product
lagarto lizard (cheap cut of meat)
láminas slices
langostinos prawns
lasaña lasagna
lascas slices (or chips)
lechazo (unweaned) baby lamb
leche milk
lechuga lettuce
leña firewood
lenguado sole
lentejas lentils
licor liqueur or liquor
ligero light
lima lime
limón lemon
liofilizada lyophilized (aka freeze-dried)
lomitos tenderloin, loins
lomo[s] loin (and particular type of dried pork)
loncha[s] slices
lubina sea bass
macarrones macaroni
macerados macerated
madurada matured
mahonesa mayonnaise
maíz corn
majuelo young vine (aka hawthorn)
manillas lit: handles/hands, but probably feet; trotters
manitas de cerdo pork trotters
manos feet
manteca butter
mantequilla butter
manzana[s] apple
maracuyá passion fruit
marinad{a|o}[s] marinated
marisco[s] seafood (generic, although often shellfish)
masa dough
masa madre sourdough
mayonesa mayonnaise
medallones medallions
Mediterránea Mediterranean
Mejicana Mexican
mejillon[es] mussels
mejores best
melocotón peach
melón melon
melosas sweet
membrillo quince, quince jelly
menestra vegetable stew
menta mint
mercado market
merienda snack (light meal, like British tea)
merluza hake
mermelada jam
mero grouper
mero salvaje wild grouper
mesa table
meses months
mezcla mix
mezclum mesclun
miel honey
migas del pastor lit: shepherd’s crumbs (seasoned bread crumbs)
milhojas mille-feuille, aka napolean
mínimo minimum
mitica legendary
mixt{a|o} mixed
módena balsamic vinegar
mollejas gizzards; sweetbreads
mollete a soft round white flatbread
montaña mountain
moras blackberries
morcilla blood sausage
moreno brown
morro[s] snout, lips, cheeks, nose
morunos lit: Moorish, kebab of marinated pork
mostaza[s] mustard
mulo mule
mundo world
muslitos nuggets
muslo drumstick
naranja orange
nata cream
nata montada whipped cream
natillas custard
navajas razor clams
negra[s] black
novedad novelty
nuez/nueces nuts (sometimes walnuts)
nuestra our
nuestras especialidades our specialties
oca goose
oliva olive
oporto port or port sauce
orégano oregano
oreja ear
orejones dried apricot
otros other
oveja sheep
paladar[es] palate[s]
Palentina Palencia style
paletas shoulder
paletilla shoulder
pan bread
pan artesano artisan bread
pan de fabiola type of bread from Palencia
panadera bakery
para compartir to share
para picar to nibble
parmesano parmesan cheese
parra vine
parrillada grilled (plate of)
pasas currants or raisins
pastel cake
pata de mulo mule leg (type of cheese in Leon)
pata[s] leg
patata potato
patata panadera baking/baked potato
patata[s] potato
pato duck
pavo turkey
pechuga[s] breast
pepinillo[s] pickle; gherkin
pepino cucumber
pepitas chips
pepito meat filled sandwich
pequeña[s] small
pera[s] pear
perdiz partridge
perejil parsley
perfumado perfumed
perrito [caliente] hot dog
pescados fish
picada minced
picante spicy
picatostes croutons
picoteo nibbling or snacking
piel skin
pimentón paprika
pimiento pepper
pimientos peppers
pimientos de temporada seasonal peppers
pimientos del Piquillo Piquillo peppers
pimientos verdes green peppers
piña pineapple
piña caramelizada caramelized pineapple
pincho[s] skewer[s]
piñones pine nuts
pipa de calabaza pumpkin
pistacho pistachio
plátano banana
plato fuerte main entree
platos dishes (although literally plate)
pluma lit: feather, a cut of pork in front of loin
pochada poached
pollo chicken
pollo frito fried chicken
por encargo on request
postres desserts
potro horse or colt
precio fijo fixed price
precio[s] price
prensado pressed
presa a flavorful shoulder cut
primer first (course)
primeros platos first courses
proteinas proteins
puding pudding
puerro leek
pulguitas small closed-baguette sandwich
pulpo octopus
puntillitas battered and fried tiny squid
purés de patata mashed potatoes
queso cheese
queso {crema|cremoso} cream cheese
queso de cabra goat cheese
queso de oveja pecorino
queso parmesano parmesan cheese
queso[s] cheese[s] cheese
quisquillas squid
rabas rings of squid
rabo tail (oxtail)
rabo de buey oxtail
raciones portions
rallado grated
rape monkfish
rebozado batter/battered; breaded
receta[s] recipe[s]
redondo round (cut of beef)
redución reduction
referencias references
refresco soft drink
rellen{a|o}[s] stuffed
remolacha beet
remolinos swirls
revuelto[s] scrambled egg dish (other ingredients than egg)
rincon corner, nook
riñones kidneys
rodaballo turbot
rodaja[s] slice
roj{a|o}[s] red
rollito roll
romero rosemary
rosa pink
rotos broken (fried eggs with broken yolk)
rúcola rúcula arugula (aka rocket)
rulo roll
Rusa Russian
Sábados Saturday
sabor flavor (also taste)
sabrosas tasty
sal salt
salame salami
salazón salting
salchicha sausage
salchichón sausage (cured, not generic for sausage)
salmón salmon
salsa sauce
saltead{a|o}[s] sautéed
salvaje wild
salvia sage
sardina sardine
sartén frying pan
seco dried
segundo second (course)
segundo plato Second course
seis six
selección selection
seleccionado selected
selvática wild
sepia cuttlefish
servido served
sésamo sesame
setas mushroom
sidra cider
sidrería cider bar
siempre usual (aka always)
sirope syrup
solomillo tenderloin, sirloin
sopa soup
sorpresa surprise
suave soft
surtido assorted, assortment
tabla[s] board (platter or plank); sometimes table
tarrina tub (small container in the shape of inverted truncated cone)
tarta[s] cake
tarta de queso cheesecake
tartaletas tartlets
taza cup
temperatura temperature
templad{a|o} warm, tempered, lukewarm
ternera veal (sometimes beef) beef (usually veal)
terrina terrine
tiempo time
tiern{a|o}[s] tender (also young)
tigres stuffed mussels
tinta ink
típìco typical
tipo type
tiras strips
tocinillo de cielo pudding made with egg yolk and syrup
tomate[s] tomato
toque touch (as in small amount)
torreznos chunk of fried bacon
torrija French toast
torta cake
tortitas pancakes
tostada toast, toasted
tostas toast
tradición tradition
tragòn glutton
tres three
trigo wheat
triguero wheat
trocitos chips
tropezones small piece
trozos pieces
trufa[s] truffle[s]
trufado truffled
turcas Turkish
turrón almond nougat candy
unidad[es] units (as in number of pieces served)
untados spread
uvas pasas raisins  (or just pasas)
vaca cow (terms for beef get complicated)
vacuno beef
vainilla vanilla
vari{a|e}d{a|o}[s] varied, assorted, variety
vaso glass
vegetal in some contexts, vegetarian
vegetal[es] vegetable
vegetarianas vegetarians
ventresca lit: belly, usually tuna
verde green
verduras vegetable
verduras de invierno winter vegetable
verduritas vegetables
vieiras scallops
Viernes Friday
vinagre vinegar
vinagreta vinaigrette
vino tinto red wine
vino[s] wine
virgen virgin
virgen extra extra virgin
virutas shavings
vísperas eve
yema de huevo egg yolk
yemas yolks (of eggs); buds or shoots (of plant)
yogur yogurt
zamburiñas variegated scallops
zanahoria[s] carrot
zumo juice