Culinary Definitions


South Beach Tacos

Mexican Food Glossary

This page will list common Mexican foods and what they are, as well as other Spanish words that you can find in our menu.


Agua - water.

Aguas Frescas - fresh flavoured waters, often served by street vendors throughout Mexico. We serve tamaring and jamaica flavours plus some others like strawberry, mango, pineapple.

Agua Minerale - mineral water.

Albondigas - meatballs

Atole - hot Mexican beverage made from white corn masa, cinnamon, vanilla and piloncillo with steamed milk.

Bistec - steak.

Boca Negra - chocolate and chili pudding cake.

Borrego - lamb.

Burrito - consists of a wheat flour tortilla wrapped or folded into a cylindrical shape to completely enclose the filling. 

Cajeta - confection of thickened syrup usually made of sweetened caramelised goats milk.

Carne Asada - a grilled Mexican dish of spicy marinated steak strips sometimes served in a burrito or taco.

Carnitas - braised or roasted pork served shredded in small pieces, often as a filling in tacos, burritos, etc.

Cena - dinner.

Ceviche - cold dish of marinated fish or seafood, typically garnished and served as an appetizer.

Champurrado - Atole with chocolate.

Chayote - a kind of squash, also known as Choko.

Chilaquiles - a dish of fried tortilla strips typically topped with a spicy tomato sauce and cheese.

Chimichanga - a tortilla wrapped around a filling, typically of meat, and deep-fried.

Chipotle - a smoked hot chili pepper used especially in Mexican cooking.

Chorizo - a spicy sausage.

Churro - a strip of sweet fried dough.

Desayuno - breakfast.

Empanada - a stuffed bread or pastry, baked or fried.  Empanadas are made by folding dough or bread around stuffing, which usually consists of a variety of meat, cheese, vegetables or fruits.

Enfrijolada - tortilla cooked in black bean sauce.

Ensalada - salad.

Enchilada - a corn tortilla rolled around a filling and covered with a chili pepper sauce. Enchiladas can be filled with a variety of ingredients, including meat, cheese, beans, potatoes, vegetables, seafood or combinations.

Escabeche - marinated vegetables in acidic mixture, like vinegar or citrus juice. Pickled vegetables or fish.

Fajita - a dish consisting of strips of spiced prawns, beef, chicken or others and chopped vegetables (often capsicum and onion), wrapped in a soft tortilla and often served with sour cream and other condiments.

Frijoles negros - black beans.

Frijoles refritos - refried beans.

Guacamole - an avocado-based dip, condiment, and salad ingredient.

Huevos - eggs.

Huevos Revueltos - scrambled eggs.

Jalapeno - a very hot green chili pepper, used especially in Mexican-style cooking.

Jalapeno Relleno - jalapeno pepper stuffed with cheese.

Jarritos - popular Mexican soft drink.

Jugos - juices.

Nopal - cactus, usually prickly pear cactus.

Papas con chorizo - chorizo sauteed with potato.

Pescado - fish.

Pollo - chicken.

Pollo Pibil - chicken marinated in achiote and spices.

Posole - summer stew of pork & hominy (corn), with fresh onion, radish, cabbage,avocado & totopos.

Quesadilla - a flour or corn tortilla filled with a mixture containing cheese, meat, and other ingredients usually including vegetables. It is then folded in half to form a half-moon shape.

Queso - cheese.

Queso Fundido - melted cheese dip.

Refrescos - sodas.

Salsa - sauce.

Salsa Asada - roasted tomato salsa.

Salsa Roja - "red sauce" based with dried chillis.

Salsa Verde - " green sauce" based with jalapenos, tomatillos and coriander. 

Sangria - a Spanish drink of red wine mixed with lemonade, fruit and spices.

Sangria Senorial - brand of non-alcoholic sparkling sangria made in Mexico.

Taco - a traditional Mexican dish composed of a corn or wheat tortilla folded or rolled around a filling. A taco can be made with a variety of fillings, including beef, pork, chicken, seafood, vegetables and cheese, allowing for great versatility and variety.  Tacos can be either hard or soft.  Hard tacos are crunchy.  Soft tacos are like a small burrito in the shape of a taco. 

Tamale - dish made of masa (a starchy dough, usually corn-based), which is steamed or boiled in a leaf wrapper. The wrapping is discarded before eating. Tamales can be filled with meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, chilies or any preparation according to taste, and both the filling and the cooking liquid may be seasoned.

Totopos - fried tortilla strips.