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Beginners’ Spanish: food and drink
Beginners’ Spanish: food and drink

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Actividad 6

Lía and her friends decide to order a few tapas.

A

Match the list of common tapas in the left-hand column to their meaning in English.

Enlaza.

Ejemplo

1 calamares fritos – (e) fried squid rings

1 calamares fritos

2 tortilla de patatas

3 mejillones al vapor

4 queso

5 jamón serrano

6 empanadillas de pulpo

7 aceitunas

8 albóndigas con tomate

(a) meatballs in tomato sauce

(b) cheese

(c) Spanish cured ham

(d) olives

(e) fried squid rings

(f) potato omelette

(g) octopus pasties

(h) steamed mussels

Answer

1 – (e); 2 – (f); 3 – (h); 4 – (b); 5 – (c); 6 – (g); 7 – (d); 8 – (a).

Culture: Tapas, pinchos and raciones

A tapa is a very small portion. If you are hungry or you are sharing your meal with more people, you may want to order a media ración (half portion) or even a ración (whole portion).

There is some regional variation in the type of tapas offered. For instance, in the north of Spain people have pinchos, which is a bite of food on a toothpick. The traditional pincho is very simple, for example a small portion of Spanish omelette skewered onto a piece of bread with a toothpick, although in some up-market bars pinchos can be extremely sophisticated. The tradition is to take them directly from the counter and, when you’ve finished, let the waiter know how many you’ve had. This custom is changing, however, and in some new establishments you have to keep the toothpicks in order to be charged accordingly.

Typical tapas in Galicia are octopus (boiled and served with oil and paprika) and fried green peppers (pimientos de Padrón). In central Spain, all types of cheese and cured meats, together with cooked food, from meatballs to fried vegetables, are served as tapas. In Andalusia, the main tapas are fried fish, chorizo and different types of cheese. In Central America, bocas are the equivalent of tapas. In Argentina they are called picadas, and they consist mostly of olives, ham or cheese.

B

Listen to the following audio track where Lía and her friends discuss what they want to eat. Write down what they decide to order.

Escucha y anota.

Download this audio clip.Audio player: Ordering food
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Ordering food
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Answer

They order: tortilla de patatas (dos raciones), jamón serrano (una ración), queso (una ración), empanadillas de pulpo (siete), calamares (dos raciones).

Comment

Notice how the sentence ¡Camarero, por favor! is used to call the waiter. Listen to the audio again, paying attention to the intonation.

Download this audio clip.Audio player: I'm paying
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I'm paying
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