Benidorm Guide: The Menu

<< Gastronomy The Menu >>Restaurants >>Tapas Bars

Facing a menu written in Spanish can be daunting.

Here are some pointers that will help you order with confidence and lessen the gap between what you expect to eat and what the waiter brings to your table.

First understand that food can be ordered according to appetite. So, for example, a 'tapa' is a snack-size portion normally served with drinks whereas a 'raciónes' is full meal portion.

In between these extremes you could ask for a 'media ración' or a half a meal-size portion.. or large tapa!

Next up, what exactly are you ordering? Rest assured that Spanish cuisine is well established and re-known. Therefore, if it is on the menu it is probably delicious... to someone, not necessarily you.

For example almejas (clams). Almejas is a simple but delicious plate that you will find yourself swabbing the plate with your bread not to waste the sauce.
Quite distinct to the pickled cockles beloved of British coastal resorts.

On that note, here are the principal ingredient key words that are likely to appear on a Spanish menu, either alone or in a sentence.

aceitunas: olives

albondigas: meatballs

alioli: garlic mayonnaise

almejas: clams

anchoas: anchovies

atun: tuna

bacalao: cod

boquerones: anchovies

chiperones: baby squid

berberechos: cockles

boquerones: anchovies

calamares: squid

callos: traditional (tripe) dish

caracoles: snails

carne en salsa: meat in tomato sauce

champiñones: mushrooms

chocos: cuttlefish

chorizo: traditional spanish sausage

cocido: stew

croquetas: croquettes

empanadas: breaded meat fried

empanadilla: pasty

ensaladilla rusa: russian salad

gambas: prawns

gambas pil-pil: prawns in garlic and chilli

gazpacho: chilled 'salad' soup

hígado: liver

huevo cocido: hard-boiled egg

jamón serrano: traditional cured ham

lomo: pork loin

mejillones: mussels

navajas: razor clams

patatas bravas = spicy fried potatoes

pimientos: (green, red, yellow) peppers

pincho: skewer / kebab

pisto: ratatouille

pulpo: octopus

rabo de toro: oxtail stew

riñones al jerez: kidneys in sherry

sardinas: sardines

salchicha: sausage

sepia: cuttlefish

tortilla: potato omelette

pan: bread

queso: cheese

queso manchego: sheep cheese
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