Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Getting familiar with Spanish Food terms!

As a newbie in Spain and with a long way to go in terms of speaking the language, one of the most intimidating things for me was trying to figure out the menus when ordering food.I would initially get pretty confused, as did some of my classmates, but my confusion has cleared up. What helped me to understand were the explanations given to me by Aline, who works at Tia Tula. Thanks Aline! 
In many of the bars and restaurants are menus written mostly on blackboards and they would have above the food offering the terms - Tapas, Pinchos, Raciones etc.  Apart from understanding that they were priced differently I had no clue as to what makes them different. Here´s what I found...
 A 'Pincho' (also known as Pintxos) comes from the verb 'pinchar', which is 'to pierce'. Pinchos for example Jamon, are traditionally pierced with a cocktail stick to attach it to a piece of bread. However, as Basque cuisine has evolved, the food is now less likely to be pierced to a piece of bread than before.

Tapa which comes from the Spanish verb ´Tapar´ which means to cover and a tapa, sometimes just a piece of bread, was used in olden days to ´cover´ one´s drink and prevent flies etc. from getting into it.

In many cities in Spain, a large plate sized portion of, for example fried potatoes (Patatas) will be called a 'ración', with a half-size portion called a 'media ración' and a quarter-size portion a 'tapa'.

If you are in Salamanca you will also see the terms Sandwiches and Bocadillos/Bocatas. There is a difference: A sandwich is made with modern-day white bread, called pan de molde whereas a Bocadillo or Bocata is made with a rustic barra de pan or baguette-style bread loaf.

If you are in Salamanca and you come across food names that had you initially puzzled but you´ve since figured it out please feel free to spread the knowledge! In the meantime enjoy the food in Spain!
Debra, Student in Tia Tula

No comments:

Post a Comment