Galician expressions about eating (and eating well)

There is no denying it: in Galicia we eat well. And many of those who visit us do it precisely for that reason, because they know here they will find an excellent gastronomy and products without equal. For those who come looking for culinary delight, it is not a bad idea to know some expressions of the Galician language related to food, drink and the enjoyment they bring.

It is already known that in Galicia you cannot simply “chegar e encher” (arrive and fill, the belly in this case). Usually, before the meal it is appropriate to “mollar a palleta” (to wet the tongue, have some wine or an appetiser, in the same way that the pipers would do before playing, hence the name “palleta”) and get some “petisco” (tapa) before sitting down for a proper meal. This preliminary work can be carried out very well in places like “furanchos”, private houses in which wine of their own harvest is sold.

Once at the table, you have to concentrate on what matters, because it is well known that “soprar e sorber non se pode facer” (blowing and sipping cannot be done at once) or, as any grandmother would say, a good foodie is that who “come e cala “(eats and shuts up). Of those who eat greedily and like all recipes, it is said that “é de bo dente” (has a good tooth). There are also people who are not particularly interested in food but end up giving in, because it is known that “comer e rañar, todo é empezar” (eating and scratching, it’s all about starting). Although Galician menus are easily split into starter, main dish and “sobremesa” (dessert), do not be afraid if you mix up the order, because, as is usually explained, “todo vai parar ao mesmo sitio” (it all goes to the same place).

The most usual thing in Galicia is for the food to be so satisfying that one can say things like “quedei coma un Pepe”, “comín coma un bispo” or “comín coma un cura” (I ended up like a Pepe, I ate like a bishop or I’ve eaten like a priest). You must to let the host know, otherwise they will ask: “Quedaches con fame?” (Are you still hungry?), to then offer to fry sausages, improvise an omelette or get the ham from the cellar. If you do not want any more, you can just say: “Non me colle nin unha cereixa” (I do not even have room for a cherry).

But you have to be careful, you can’t go from bacchanal to bacchanal at the risk of going too far and “ir coma un pipo” (go like a barrel), that is, overfed. It could also happen that if overeating becomes a habit and you end up gaining weight, you will hear that “está de bo ano” (you are having good year), or you gain a reputation as a “larpeiro”, “lambón”, “lapón” “comellón “,”tripeiro”, “enchedoiro” or another of the many words Galicians have to designate lovers of good food. And let’s not even mention those who drink too much, who, at the very least, might be called “tinallas” (jar). So, after a great “paparota” (big meal), it is a good idea to take a break regarding gastronomy. It is already known that ” de banquetes e grandes ceas están as sepulturas cheas” (from  banquets and large dinners are the graves filled).

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