The parilla is a River Plate institution and there are a lot of specialist terms to understand if you want to make your way around a parilla menu. First of all the word la parilla, which refers to the grill on which the meat is cooked, is not to be confused with la parillada (a parilla restaurant OR a selection of meats from the parilla: you can order una parillada para dos, for example, which is a meat platter for two people) or el parillero (the person who barbecues the meat on the parilla OR a built barbecue).

El asado de tira is the favourite cut of many Uruguayans and Argentinians, whereas el vacío, el lomo, la pulpa are bone-free and as such preferred by many visitors to the region. The diagram will show you exactly which cuts they are (don’t ask me, I’m a vegetarian!).

la costilla = ribs

los chinchulines = small intestines, usually wrapped around a skewer

la tripa gorda = a plait of small intestine

la molleja = saliva glands

el riñon = kidney

el hígado = liver

la morcilla = blood sausage

el chorizo = thick sausage

la longaniza = thin sausage

el cordero = lamb

el cerdo = pork

la bondiola = pork chop

el jabalí = boar 

And a couple of other items that might just make it onto the parilla:

el morrón relleno = stuffed pepper (usually stuffed with cheese and ham)

la berenjena = aubergine / eggplant

el queso provelone = melted cheese with herbs and, sometimes, ham, olives or peppers

una papa asada = baked potato


Any questions? If you’re not sure about the content of today’s class or have something to add, leave us a comment below and we’ll get back to you. Your questions and comments will help other students too. Our Spanish immersion programs at La Herradura in Uruguay and Spain teach you an international form of Spanish, but the teachers are all native speakers and will offer guidance on local expressions and words.

Coming up next… Class 26: Work | El trabajo


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