5 Traditional Spanish Foods You're Probably Pronouncing Wrongly

5 Traditional Spanish Foods You’re Probably Pronouncing Wrongly

Did you know that there are more people who speak Spanish as their first language than English? In fact, Spanish ranks number two globally with 400 million native speakers (as compared to 360 million English native speakers).

You would think that, coupled with the fact that Spanish food is so popular worldwide, we’d know how to pronounce traditional Spanish dishes properly. However, most people still call what is probably the most well-known Spanish food of all time pah-eh-la. 

That’s paella, by the way. And it’s actually pronounced pa-eh-ya:

Avoid embarrassment when ordering food in Spanish – here are 5 more commonly mispronounced Spanish foods that you should start memorizing, pronto.


1. Tortilla española

5 Traditional Spanish Foods You're Probably Pronouncing Wrongly

Eggs, potatoes, and onions. It sounds just like a typical omelette, but the tortilla española is actually the national dish of Spain.

The story goes that it was invented when a Spanish military officer, General Thomas Zumalacárregui, stopped by a peasant’s house dying of hunger during a war. The woman only had eggs, onions, and potatoes, but threw them together anyway. Thankfully, the general enjoyed it immensely, and popularized it thereafter.

How to pronounce it: tor-ti-ya ess-pan-yo-la

2. Salmorejo

5 Traditional Spanish Foods You're Probably Pronouncing Wrongly

A cold soup, salmorejo is the lesser well-known cousin of the famous gazpacho. Both, however, are locally recognized as traditional Spanish dishes.

Made with tomatoes, bread, oil, garlic, and vinegar, salmorejo is typically thicker and creamier than gazpacho. The likelihood of pronouncing it is also seems to be far higher.

How to pronounce it: sal-mo-reh-ho

3. Gambas al ajillo

5 Traditional Spanish Foods You're Probably Pronouncing Wrongly

This garlic shrimp dish is a classic Spanish tapa – an appetizer or snack – that can be found in bars all over Spain. It is just as the name describes: fresh shrimp sauteed in lots and lots of glorious olive oil and garlic. Yummy.

How to pronounce it: gahm-bus-al-ah-hee-oh

4. Cochinillo asado

5 Traditional Spanish Foods You're Probably Pronouncing Wrongly

Cochinillo asado – or roast suckling pig – is a treat typically reserved for special occasions. What’s special about it is that the pigs are usually just 4 to 5 weeks, and weigh less than 10 pounds. Because of this, its meat is especially tender and delicious.

How to pronounce it: co-chi-ni-yo ah-sah-doh

5. Croquette

5 Traditional Spanish Foods You're Probably Pronouncing Wrongly

Another dish that can be found in almost any Spanish restaurant or bar, the croqueta is a breadcrumbed roll that contains just about any ingredient possible, from jamon serrano (Spanish dry-cured ham) to gambas (shrimp). Though it is incredibly popular in Spain, it actually originates from France, though the locals have certainly taken it to another level.

How to pronounce it: kroh-keht


You don’t even need to travel across Spain to try all these dishes – they are all within reach in Barcelona. Specifically, in the houses of our talented local home chefs. Check them out here.

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Here’s Why Your Next Fine Dining Experience Will Probably Be At Home

Here’s Why Your Next Fine Dining Experience Will Probably Be At Home

Eating out has become a spectator sport: the buttoned-up chef has become the star, with patrons lining the halls in hopes of a table at this year’s hottest restaurant. While farm-to-table-molecular-gastronomy trends are tempting, the truth is that the best food is still usually found at home.

In fact, your next best meal is likely hidden away behind a simple front door. Here are 6 reasons why your next fine dining experience will most probably be at home.

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1. Rise of the pop-up dinner

With a focus on speed and precision, professional kitchens can feel more like well-oiled machines rather than centers of artistic freedom. Now, chefs are moving out of the fast paced environment in order to focus on quality rather than the number of meals they have to deliver in a single evening.

Here’s Why Your Next Fine Dining Experience Will Probably Be At Home

Hence the rise of the pop-up dinner, which is usually hosted at home. The temporary nature of pop-ups gives chefs the creative space to constantly re-invent menus without having to worry about covering the rent on a brick-and-mortar restaurant space.

This way, you know for sure that the food in front of you was borne from passion, rather than a paycheck.

2. When in Rome, eat with the Romans

When visiting a major city, it can be easy to get a bad meal. Even TripAdvisor sometimes gets it wrong. High turnover from tourists who come and go frequently can lead to lackluster offerings at local restaurants.

Here’s Why Your Next Fine Dining Experience Will Probably Be At Home

For this reason, you’ll have a far better chance of trying the best local foods in Rome if you actually eat with the Romans. In a Roman kitchen, you’ll not only be able to help prepare the meal, you’ll also have the benefit of dining without a tourist menu (or a tourist) in sight.

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3. No hidden ingredients

Between food blogs, cookbooks, and online instructions, all the information you need to construct a gourmet meal at home is literally at your fingertips. With sous-vides for sale on Amazon, even the most high-tech kitchen tools are within reach. The space between the professional kitchen and your own dining room table has shortened, meaning you no longer have to rely on cooks hidden out of view.

Choosing a home restaurant means you know exactly how much of what goes into your dish. Plus, you can leave with the recipe to recreate the meal any time – no dress code required.

4. Demystifying the plate

Not very confident in the kitchen? You can now take a class with an experienced home cook to beef up on your culinary skills (and eat it, too). Once you have chopped, sautéed, and served, you will find that meals are about more than just throwing ingredients together.

Here’s Why Your Next Fine Dining Experience Will Probably Be At Home

Taking the time to learn from a home chef and sit down to dinner with a local family is the best way to understand a new food culture.

5. Dinner parties without the artifice

Passing on the restaurant reservation is also a practice in ditching the pretense. Without Michelin stars, crisp white linens, or bow-tied waiters in the way, dining at home places the spotlight on the experience without sacrificing the menu.

Home restaurants concentrate on what matters – the food, and the company.

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6. The most exclusive reservation in town

That new restaurant everyone is trying to get in to? Well, literally everyone is going to be there. Why wait months for a meal that has been served to a thousand other instagramming patrons?

Here’s Why Your Next Fine Dining Experience Will Probably Be At Home

Unique dining experiences don’t happen en masse, they happen one-on-one (and preferably on private terraces).

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Ready to try out your first fine dining experience at a home restaurant? Find your city here to get started right away.

8 Simple Ways to Become a Great Host

8 Simple Ways to Become a Great Host

If there’s one thing we all appreciate most and remembering several years down the road is the feeling of being welcome in someone’s home. Whether it is meeting a family for the first time ever while couch surfing, or just joining a couple of locals for dinner at their place, the homely feeling is something that all of us, as human-beings, cherish. Making someone feel welcome at your home doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. The aim is to add small touches that let your guests know you care. 

Join us on the go-to guide for welcoming a guest to your home! 

  1. Provide the basic Information.


Always email and text your address, phone number, transportation information before your guest arrives. That way, they will be able to find their way to your home without getting lost.

      2. Be yourself. 

Guests aren’t expecting a perfectly immaculate house, they are at your place to build friendships and have a fun time! So do not pressure or stress yourself too much. 

      3. Let your guests be themselves.

Mean it when you say, “make yourself at home.” This is within reason, of course – don’t let manipulative people treat you like a doormat, and basic house rules must be followed.


       4. Keep it simple. 

Limit the guest list to what you are comfortable with. Choose a neutral table setting that lets your colourful centrepiece flowers pop. If you are having floral centrepieces, the rule is to keep them low enough that guests can talk over them. You don’t want your guests craning their necks just to make conversation. 

Tip for small spaces: If you don’t have a big enough dinner table to host a large gathering, bring in a folding table for the night and cover it with an elegant table cloth. 


          5. Music. 

Music is one of the easiest ways to create an ambiance for your dinner party. Keep in mind that while background music prevents awkward silences during the meal, the volume should be kept low enough that it won’t interfere with conversation. 

          6. Dinner

Make sure that you’ve asked all of your guests ahead of time if they have any food allergies or dietary restrictions. You don’t want anyone to go hungry or feel awkward refusing food. Prepare dishes that you have made before. The day of your dinner party is not the time to experiment with that elaborate soufflé recipe you saw on the Food Network. Your guests will appreciate a simple, home-cooked meal as much as something more gourmet. 

           7. Dessert.

Dessert is the best way to ensure that everyone’s night will end on a sweet note. It’s also nice to offer coffee or tea with dessert. 


           8. Relax and have fun.

Hosting a dinner party should be enjoyable for the host too. Once your guests have arrived, relax and enjoy yourself along with them. Resign yourself to the fact that dishes can be done the next morning. Tonight, enjoy the good company, delightful ambiance, and delicious food you put so much work into. Or, take up a guest’s offer to wash. Grateful guests are truly happy to help.

Tell us your experience of hosting a guest for a meal at home!

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Quick ‘N Easy: 10 Dinner Party Recipe Ideas

Quick 'N Easy: 10 Dinner Party Recipe Ideas

In need of quick and easy dinner party recipe ideas? Get inspired for your next dinner party menu with these ten tantalising dinner party snacks: 

Do not belittle these petite triangles, for they pack a punch of flavour! Take a bite, and let the crisp shell of the samosa break apart to reveal a delicious filling of crumbly mashed potatoes, flavoured with a spicy kick of curry. There is only one thing that we can be sure of – your guests will not be able to stop at one!

We all love a savoury treat that can be whipped up in a snap! This delightful starter kills two birds with a stone – it will not fail to please both your seafood-fanatic and meat-loving guests. 

When in doubt, stick to items that have been tried-and-tested. You cannot go wrong with dishing out a good' ol tuna salad! 

Bite into a slice of this toasty bread, and let the aromatic flavours of the garlic, butter and herbs explore in your mouth. It is called a "tear-and-share" garlic bread, but when something tastes so good, we ain't sure if anyone is gonna be sharing this!

If you are firing up a barbecue for an outdoor dinner, be sure to stock up on a handful of corn ears. For a tasty snack, slap on some butter after grilling the corn. To make an irresistible Mexican kick, add a dash of chili powder, cheese and lime juice.

Who doesn't love potatoes? Invite your guests to sink their teeth into these chunky wedges, spiced with an addictive hint of paprika, and watch them reach out for more…and much more.  

What is light, healthy and yummy? Our answer – vegetarian summer rolls! Mhmm…

Grilled vegetables, seasoned with heady spices and pesto rae heaped upon a toasted country bread. This is one snack that your vegetarian guests will not be able to resist!


Buttery, crumbly, and oh-so-yummy! This is a treat that definitely earns a top spot on our list of easy peasy dinner party food ideas. 

No one in their right mind would say no to a slice of Nutella Pie. We are willing to bet our lives on this – how can anyone possibly resist is rich chocolate flavours, decadent hint of hazelnut aroma and addictively crunchy biscuit base? 

Hosting a dinner party? Check out our articles on Top 10 Dinner Party Hacks and 5 Dinner Party Tips!  

Images: Stockarch, Bonappetit, GrandbabyCakes, Banhmigirls, Baking Through Msbh, Amandeleine, Atelier Christine

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