Spanish tapas translations to English

Lifting the lid on Tapas

The original Tapa was a small dish that the camarero (barman) would place over your drink – hence the name: lid. The reason for this practice is unclear: perhaps it was to keep the flies off; perhaps it was the combination of poverty and heat, which made eating a large meal impractical. Either way, the important thing was that the snack was free!

Nowadays, tapas have evolved from those humble beginnings to become practically an art form in Seville and Granada. In some cities (Granada and Jaen for example) you will often automatically be given a tapa whenever you order a drink; in most other places except to pay a couple of euros for most tapas.

There are four basic sizes of tapa:
pincho – mouthful
tapa – saucerful
media-racion – half a plateful
racion – plateful

The tapas list will be displayed on a menu at the bar, or a board on the wall, or, most likely, you just take your pick of what you fancy from trays under a glass counter. If you eat at the bar, you’ll pay the price on the menu; if you eat at a table or outside on the terraza, you’ll end up paying double about 25 per cent more. Settle the bill once you have finished eating, rather than when you order.

Classic Tapas
Aceitunas (rellenos) – Olives (stuffed)
Albondigas – Meatballs
Almendras saladas – Salted almonds
Boquerones en vinagre – Fresh anchovies in vinegar
Calamares rellenos – Stuffed baby squid
Calamares a la Romana – Fried battered squid rings
Calamares en su tinta – Squid cooked in its ink
Chanquetes – Whitebait
Chorizo al Vino – Spicy sausage in red wine
Croquetas – Croquettes
Empanadas – Flat pies
Empanadilla – Small fried pasties
Ensaladilla de Rusa – Russian salad
Flamenquines – Ham and pork rolls
Fritura de pescado – Flash fried fish
Gambas al ajillo – Prawns in garlic
Huevos rellenos – Stuffed hard boiled eggs
Jamon serrano – Cured ham
Mejillones al vapor – Steamed muscles
Pan con tomate – Bread rubbed with fresh tomatoes
Patatas ali oil – Potatoes in garlic mayonnaise
Patatas Bravas – Potatoes in a spicy sauce
Pimientas de Padrón – Fried hot small green peppers
Pincho moruno – Grilled meat brochette
Pisto manchego – Ratatouille wtih meat
Pollo al ajillo – Garlic chicken
Revuelto – Scrambled eggs
Riñones al Jerez – Kidneys in sherry
Sobrassada – Soft Mallorcan paprika sausage
Tortilla Española – Spanish Omelette