How to order fish and seafood in Spain
We reckon the Spanish do fish and seafood better than anyone. Here in Villajoyosa, there is a bewildering variety on offer, much of it caught locally. So how do you know what you're ordering? Many restaurants have menus in English, but the fishy translations below should help you find your way around any language difficulties.
If you fancy cooking fish yourself, most supermarkets in La Vila have a wide selection of fresh fish and seafood on display, or try the stalls in the local market.
FISH (pescados) * signifies fish landed in La Vila port
Bacoreta*: tunny/little tunny
Besugo*: red bream
Boquerones: anchovies marinated in olive oil.
Boquerones fritos: fried anchovies
Bonito: skipjack tuna
Corvina*: stone bass or meagre. Often wrongly translated as sea bass, but it is a different species.
Congrio*: conger eel
Dentón*: dentex. No, I'd never heard of it either, but it's common in the Med and similar to bream.
Dorada*: gilt head bream
Gallineta*: redfish or ocean perch
Gallo San Pedro*: John Dory
Gato*: dogfish or catshark (also known as Musola)
Jurel*(or Jurel Grande): horse mackerel or scad
Lubina*: sea bass
Maragota: ballan wrasse (a new one on me, but a distinctive red-coloured fish)
Musola*: see Gato
Morralla*: assortment of small fish
Pescaditos fritos*: assortment of small fried fish
Pez Espada*: swordfish
Rape* (pronounced 'rap-eh'): monkfish
Salmonetes*: red mullet
Carabinero*: red prawn
Chipirones*: baby squid
Cigalas*: langoustine (sometimes called Norway Lobster or Dublin Bay prawn)
Clochinas or clochinas malla: Mediterranean mussels from Valencia and Sagunto
Galera: mantis shrimp
Langostino*: king prawn
Mejillones: mussels (Clochinas: Mediterranean mussels)
Navajas: razor clams
Percebe: goose barnacle
Pulpo*: octopus (try pulpo a la gallega: sliced octopus on a bed of sliced potato, with a sprinkling of salt & paprika)
Sepionet: small cuttlefish
A la plancha/a la parilla/parillada: on the grill
A la brasa: on a charcoal or wood grill (usually meat)
A la romana: in a light batter (e.g. calamares a la romana)
A la marinera: cooked in white wine + onions (e.g. mejillones a la marinera)
Al vapor: steamed (e.g. berberechos al vapor)
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© Guy Pelham 2017
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