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Meat & Fish

La carne y el pescado

Meat & Fish

Despite their traditionally small frame, the Spanish ordinarily eat very well whether it is fish, meat or embutidos (Pork cold cuts) on the menu. A typical meal comprises 3 courses, starting with a salad or soup, followed by a main course with a meat or fish base and topped off with dessert, not to mention coffee.

Stews are very popular, with regional dishes such as the Asturian Fabada, the Suquet that nobody who is visiting Barcelona can get enough of and the well known Callos a la Madrileña which is served across Spain, in addition to pork, chicken and beef fillets, san jacobos (ham and cheese in breadcrumbs), cordon bleu (san jacobo with meat too) and many more.

Although fish tends to be the main fare of the chiringuitos along the beachfront with their espetos barbecuing alongside, it is popularly eaten throughout the country. You will see this if you ever join a Spanish summer camp.

A word to those who eat little more than fishfingers or battered fish and chips: Spanish fish tends to be an actual whole fish served up on your plate, so if you are a little squeamish, you have been warned.

English WordSpanish WordPronunciation
meatla carnela carnay
chickenel polloel poyowe
duckel patoel pattowe
porkel cerdoel thare-dowe
beefla ternerala tur-neh-rah
oxel bueyel bway
rabbitel conejoel coh-nekhoh
goatla cabrala cabrah
lambel corderoel cor-dehroh
ground or minced meatla carne picadala carnay pee-cahd-ah
ribslas costillaslass coss-teey-ahs
liverel hígadoel ee-gah-dowe
kidneyslos riñonesloss rin-yoness
tripela tripala trippah
sausage (similar to salami)el salchichónel sal-chee-chonn
sausagela salchichala sal-cheechah
chorizo sausageel chorizoel cho-reethowe
serrano cured hamel jamon serranole hamon seh-rahnoh
sandwich hamjamon yorkhamon york
cooked hamjamon cocido / lacónjamon coh-theedowe / lah-conn
fish (to eat, not sea-swimming)el pescadoel pess-cahdoh
seafood / shellfishel mariscoel mah-riskowe
tunael atúnel ah-toon
sharkel tiburónel tih-bur-onn
cod el bacalaoel ba-ka-laow
squid / calamarilos calamareslos ca-lah-mah-ress
crabel cangrejoel can-greh-ho
lobsterla langostala lan-gostah
soleel lenguadoel len-gwadoh
salmonel salmónel sal-monn
clamslas almejaslas al-meh-hass
prawnslas gambaslas gambass
hakela merluzala mur-looth-ah
octopusel pulpoel pool-poh
swordfishla pez espadala peth es-pahdah
anchovy (canned type)la anchoala an-chowah
anchovy (fresh)el boquerónel bocker-onn
finla aletala ah-lettah

Note: The Spanish word for chicken when said wrong means something completely different - look it up in your Spanish dictionary! Do you really want to be served up a plate of that with chips and salad! Pronunciation is very important when you are learning new Spanish vocabulary so you can avoid particularly embarassing mistakes like that.

And just for fun, have a sing along with The Little Mermaid and friends with the words to Under the Sea in Spanish. Can you sing along in time, or do you still need to work on your Spanish vocabulary and pronunciation? Continuing that musical mood, the word bacalao [cod] in Spanish also refers to a 1980's and early 1990's style of Spanish rave music.