Monday, March 5, 2007

Food Vocabulary - Vegetables

To continue with our day-to-day vocabulary, we'll be talking about food and cooking. We'll get started with the names of some of the ingredientes we need to prepare a meal. This includes vegetables and fruits, meat, dairy products and seasonings.

In this list, we'll learn vegetables (vegetales or verduras) in Spanish. Vegetables names are quite different in Spanish-speaking countries, so you'll have to learn various words or choose the one you'll most likely be using.

If you'd like to add another word, or would like to add the translations used in your country, let me know.

Bulb and Stem Vegetables

Asparagus acutifolius
  • Espárrago (All Spanish-Speaking Countries)
Apium graveolens
  • Apio (All Spanish-Speaking Countries)
Allium schoenoprasum
  • Ciboulette (Argentina)
  • Cebollino y Cebolleta (Spain)
  • Cebollín (Guatemala)
  • Ajo de España
Allium sativum
  • Ajo (All Spanish-Speaking Countries)
Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum
  • Puerro (All Spanish-Speaking Countries)
  • Porro
  • Ajo porro
Allium cepa
  • Cebolla (All Spanish-Speaking Countries)

Rheum rhabarbarum
  • Ruibarbo (All Spanish-Speaking Countries)
Allium oschaninii / Allium ascalonicum
  • Echalote (Argentina)
  • Chalote, Escalonia (Spain)
WELCH ONION (AKA Scallion, Spring Onion)

Allium fistulosum
  • Cebollín
  • Cebolleta
  • Cebolla China
  • Cebolla de verdeo

Root and tuberous vegetables

BEET (AKA Beetroot)
Beta vulgaris
  • Remolacha (Guatemala, Spain)
  • Betabel (Mexico)
  • Beterava (Argentina)
  • Betarraga (Honduras)
Daucus carota
  • Zanahoria (All Spanish-Speaking Countries)
  • Carlota (Some regions in Spain)
CASSAVA (AKA Manioc, Yuca)
Manihot esculenta
  • Yuca (Mexico, Guatemala)
  • Mandioca (Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay)
  • Casava (Cuba)
Sechium edule
  • Chinta, Chintla (El Salvador)
  • Echinta, patastilla (Honduras)
  • Ichintal (Guatemala)
  • raíz de chayote (Panamá

Zingiber officinale
  • Jengibre (All Spanish-Speaking Countries)
Solanum tuberosum
  • Patata (Spain)
  • Papa (Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Paraguay, Guatemala)
  • Bolivia has chuño and tunta. It is a small kind of potato.
Raphanus sativus
  • Rábanos (Spain, Guatemala, Mexico)
  • Rabanitos (Argentina)
SWEET POTATO (AKA Boniato, Batata, Yam)
Ipomoea batatas
  • Camote (Central America, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Philipines, Argentina)
  • Batata (Argentina, Uruguay, Nicaragua)
  • Boniato (Argentina, Uruguay, Spain)
  • Patata dulce (España)
  • Papa dulce, kumara (Perú)
  • Moniato (Mexico, España)
Colocasia esculenta
  • Ñampi (Honuras, Costa Rica, Panama)
  • Quequeshque verde (El Salvador)
Brassica oleraceae var. caulorapa / Brassica napus var. napobrassica
  • Nabo (Guatemala)
  • Nabicol, navicol, colinabo o rutabaga
  • Ñame (All Spanish-Speaking Countries)

Fruiting and Flowering Vegetables

ARTICHOKE (AKA Globe artichoke)
Cynara scolymus
  • Alcaucil (Argentina)
  • Alcachofa (Guatemala)
Persea americana
  • Aguacate (Mexico, Central America, Spain, Cuba)
  • Palta (South America)
  • Avocado (Philipines)
CHAYOTE, (AKA Vegetable Pear, Choko)
Sechium edule
  • Chayote (Spain)
  • Güisquil (Mexico, Central America)*
  • Pataste (Honduras)
  • Chayota (Venezuela)
  • Cidrayota (Colombia)
  • Gayota (Peru)
  • Tayota (República Dominicana)
  • Papa del aire, Cayota (Argentina)
  • Guisayote, Tayote, Chocho y Acayote

  • * In Guatemala and Honduras, he dark green variety is labeled güisquil, the yellowish-white variety perulero and the more common light-green variety pataste.
Cucumis sativus
  • Pepino (All Spanish-Speaking Countries)
  • Cohombro (El Salvador)
EGGPLANT (AKA Aubergine, brinjal)
Solanum melongena
  • Berenjena (All Spanish-Speaking Countries)
GROUND CHERY (AKA Tomatillo, Husk Tomato, Jamberry)
Physalis ixocarpa / Physalis philadelphica
  • Miltomate (Guatemala, El Salvador) * In Honduras, miltomate is cherry tomato.
  • Tomatillo (Argentina, Chile, Honduras) *In Guatemala, El Salvador, Panamá and Costa Rica, tomatillo is cherry tomato.
  • Tomate de cáscara, tomate de fresadilla, tomate milpero, tomate verde, farolito (Mexico)
  • Topetón (Panamá
  • Tomate (Mexico). In this case the tomato is called jitomate.
JICAMA (AKA Yam Bean Root)
Pachyrhizus tuberosus
  • Jícama (All Spanish-Speaking Countries)
PUMPKIN (AKA Winter squash)
Cucurbita maxima
  • Calabaza (Spain and Central America)
  • Auyama (Colombia, Venezuela)
  • Zapallo (Argentina)
  • Ayote (Honduras)

    Cucurbita pepo
    • Güicoy (Guatemala)
    • Zapallito (Costa Rica, El Salvador)
    • Ayotillo (Honduras)

    CHILACAYOTE (AKA Fingerleaf gourd, Squash)
    Cucurbita ficifolia
    • Chilacayote (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador)
    • Cidra Cayote (Spain)
    • Chivere (Costa Rica)
    • Chivero ( Honduras)
    • Chiverra (Panamá)
    • Alcayote (Colombia, Argentina)

    AYOTE (A variety of Pumpkin)
    Cucurbita argyrosperma / Cucurbita mixta
    • Ayote (Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras)
    • Pipián (Nicaragua)
    • Zapallo (Panamá)
SWEETCORN(Tender corn cob)
Zea mays
  • Choclo (Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia)
  • Jojoto (Venezuela)
  • Elote (Mexico and Central America)
  • Jilote (El Salvador, Cuba)
  • Chilote (Cuba)
  • Maíz tierno o fresco (Spain)
  • Maíz nuevo (Panamá)
SWEET PEPPER (AKA Red or Chili Pepper)
Capsicum var. grossum
  • Chile pimiento (Guatemala)
  • Chile dulce (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras)
  • Chiltomo (Nicaragua)
  • Pimiento (Mexico, Argentina, Spain)
  • Morrón (Argentina)
  • Ají dulce
Solanum lycopersicum / Lycopersicon esculentun
  • Tomate (Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Guatemala, Spain)
  • Jitomate (México). In this case, tomate is tomatillo.

    Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme / Lycopersicon esculentun var. cerasiforme
    • Tomate Cherry (Guatemala)
    • Tomatillo (Guatemala, El Salvador, Panamá) *In other countries, tomatillo is ground cherry
    • Tomatillo silvestre ( Costa Rica)
    • Miltomate (Honduras) *Notice that miltomate means ground cherry in Guatemala and El Salvador
    • Tomate de gallina (Nicaragua)
    • .
ZUCCHINI (AKA courgette)
Cucurbita pepo
  • Calabacín (Spain)
  • Zucchini (Argentina)
  • Zapallito italiano

Leafy and salad vegetables

Medicago sativa
  • Alfalfa (All Spanish-Speaking Countries)
CHARD (AKA Swiss Chard, Silverbeet, Perpetual Spinach or Mangold and Beet tops)
Beta vulgaris var. cicla
  • Acelga (All Spanish-Speaking Countries)
  • Hojas de remolacha
CRESS (AKA garden pepper cress, pepper grass or pepperwort)
Lepidium sativum
  • Berro (All Spanish-Speaking Countries)
Cichorium endivia
  • Endivia, Endibia
Lactuca sativa
  • Lechuga (All Spanish-Speaking Countries)

  • ROMAINE LETTUCE (AKA Cos lettuce)
    Lactuca sativa L. var. longifolia
    • Lechuga Romana (All Spanish-Speaking Countries)
PURSALANE (AKA Verdolaga, Pigweed, Little Hogweed or Pusley)
Portulaca oleracea
  • Verdolaga (All Spanish-Speaking Countries)
Spinacia oleracea
  • Espinaca (All Spanish-Speaking Countries)

Western Brassicas

Brassica oleracea var. italica
  • Bróculi (Argentina, Central America) - We pronounce it 'brócoli'
  • Brécol (Spain)
Brassica oleracea var. gemmifera
  • Repollitos de Bruselas (Argentina, Guatemala)
  • Coles de Bruselas (Spain)
  • Repollo Chino (El Salvador) *In other countries, repollo chino is Chinese cabbage
Brassica oleraceae var. viridis and var. capitata
  • Repollo (All Spanish-Speaking Countries)
  • Col (Used in Spain along with repollo)

Brassica rapa
  • Repollo Chino (All Spanish-Speaking Countries)
  • * In El Salvador, repollo chino means brussel sprouts.
Brassica oleraceae var. botrytis
  • Coliflor (All Spanish-Speaking Countries)


Capparis spinosa
  • Alcaparra
GREEN BEAN (AKA String bean)
Green beans are the unripe fruits of any kind of bean.
  • Judías verdes (Spain)
  • Chauchas (South America)
  • Ejote (Mexico and Central America)
  • Porotos Verdes
  • Vainitas
  • Habichuela tierna
Olea europaea
  • Aceituna, Oliva

For more food-related vocabulary, check these other posts:
Fruits | Dairy Products | Seasonings | Cereals, Beans, Nuts and other Seeds | Meat (Coming soon!)

Updated article. April 12th. 2007.

This list was prepared by the members of the Spanish-English interchange group. There are people from Latin America, Spain, the US and the UK. Thanks guys!


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