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Wait, Carne Asada or Carnitas, Which One's the Beef?

Wait, Carne Asada or Carnitas, Which One's the Beef?

If you're not somewhat versed in the Spanish language, heading to your local taqueria can be quite daunting. Often times — at least in my neck of the woods — the meat selection is written in Spanish. There's Pollo, Carne Asada, Pescado and more. If you know what's what, it's easy, you go to the counter and you order your selection. However if you don't know what's what, how do you order?

To help you avoid this dilemma, I've got a quick primer on what meat is what. To discover the difference between camarón and pescado, just



  • Birria — goat or sheep meat, sometimes a combo of both
  • Borrego — lamb
  • Cabra — goat
  • Calamares — squid
  • Camarón — shrimp
  • Carne Asada — beef
  • Carnitas — braised or roasted pork
  • Jamón — ham
  • Mariscos — seafood
  • Pescado — fish
  • Pollo — chicken
  • Puerco — Pork

Some other helpful words:

  • Arroz — rice
  • Barbacoa — barbecue
  • Ensalada — salad
  • Huevos — eggs
  • Menudo — spicy soup made with tripe
  • Queso — cheese


Join The Conversation
Advah Advah 9 years
Carnitas burritos are the best! :P
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
How neat!
christie christie 9 years
Here in Texas at least Carne Asada is pork and Carne guisada is beef.
sfbutterfly24 sfbutterfly24 9 years
You can always just ask for what you want in english cuz sometime people just KILL words and it makes it even more difficult for my lik burriot making ladies (or gents if you go to La Taqueria!)
lmgrier lmgrier 9 years
Here in Arizona, Mexican food is extremely common! Since there is literally a taco shop on every single corner these words are second nature to me! Lots of little kids never even realize that those are Spanish words since they use them so much in their every day language!
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