This blog post was originally posted on September 18, 2014, and was updated on October 31, 2017.
Like every culture, the Spanish have an abundance of wise and sometimes silly phrases or idioms related to eating.
Useful or not, it’s a fun and interesting way to learn a bit of the language and understand different aspects of the culture. Read on for some of our favorite fun Spanish food phrases.
Desayuna mucho, come más, cena poco y vivirás.
Probably the most fun Spanish food phrases, this roughly translates to, Eat a big breakfast, have a bigger lunch, have a light dinner and you will live a long life! And of course, agree! Though sometimes criticized for its notoriously late meals, the Spanish way of eating big lunches and small dinners is perhaps worth taking note of in other places around the world, where digesting a filet mignon at 8 pm, for example, might put some into cardiac arrest.
La comida reposada y la cena paseada.
Similar to the first sentence, this has to be one of our favorite fun Spanish food phrases! It shares a bit more Spanish wisdom in saying that lunch should be left to rest and dinner should be walked off. Of course, it probably isn’t advisable to go on a jog after any meal, much less three platefuls of paella. And though not as common a practice nowadays as stereotypes have it, perhaps the siesta has some connection to these words.
Donde comen dos, comen tres.
Where two people eat, so do three. Was there ever anything truer? Definitely one of the most well known fun Spanish food phrases! Although more accurately, the saying might go, Where ten people eat, so do eleven, as Spaniards are known for their big get-togethers and very social eating habits.
A buena hambre, no hay pan duro.
Unsurprisingly, there exists an abundance of phrases related to hunger and poverty in the Spanish culture. Throughout its history, Spain and its people have lived through many different bouts of hunger. Perhaps this explains why so many of the age-old dishes are made with simple and inexpensive ingredients like eggs, potatoes, and beans. Furthermore, roughly translated, this means that wherever there is hunger, there is no hard bread. And funnily enough, there are plenty of Spanish dishes whose protagonist is precisely that—old bread. And to name just one, the very typical migas, a dish that is literally called bread crumbs. Not to mention the very famous Pa amb tomàquet, which was created originally as a way to use up old bread! This has got to be one of our favorite tapas in Barcelona.
A beber y a tragar, que el mundo se va a acabar.
The Spanish version of—Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die. This fun Spanish phrase also has a bit of a dark side. Drink and swallow because, ahem, the world is going to end. And speaking of darkness, have you ever heard about the history of this tradition of clinking glasses? In olden times, as jolly fellows would put all their glasses together with unabashed enthusiasm, all the drinks would splash around, ensuring that if yours was poisoned, so the others would be, too. How’s that for a toast?