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Milking It: The Varied And Contradictory Uses Of ‘leche’ In Spanish Phrases – Olive Press News Spain




FROM giving a milk to having bad milk to going at full milk, leche is one of the most useful words in Spanish.  

Despite the fact that Spaniards have a much lower consumption-per-capita than the UK they are, idiomatically at least, obsessed with milk.

The Spanish Royal Academy, the organisation charged with safeguarding the Spanish language, lists more than 40 idioms using it – none of which have anything to do with the white stuff.

Read on to learn some of the most useful leche expressions – but be careful!

Some phrases have several contradictory meanings, depending on the context…


Tener mala leche (to have bad milk)

This means to be in a bad mood, or to be bad tempered. The expression harks from the days when people believed that babies inherited personality traits through breast milk, which is why wet nurses were carefully selected in order not to pass bad milk on to babies.

A mala leche/con mala leche (with bad milk)

An action undertaken ‘with bad milk’ means that it was done with bad intentions from the beginning. Subtly different to the above, the two meanings can easily be confused when referring to a person: context will dictate whether they had a bad temper or bad intentions.

Mala leche (bad milk)

On its own, mala leche can mean bad luck. So ‘¡Qué mala leche tiene!’ Can mean ‘What bad luck he has’. As the Spanish way to call someone lucky uses the verb tener, this can be easily confused with the first point by foreigners. Not by Spaniards however, who always seem to know which meaning is intended at any given time.


Hay mala leche (there is bad milk)

In this sense, mala leche means bad blood or ill feeling. So ‘hay mucha mala leche entre él y su hermano’ means ‘there is a lot of bad feeling between him and his brother’.

Ser la leche (to be the milk)

Confusingly, this phrase can mean either to be really good or really bad. So if a new phone is ‘la leche’, it is very good, but the same phrase could be used to condemn an old phone that keeps breaking. When applied to a person (‘¡eres la leche!)’, it can mean almost anything. For example, ‘he thinks he is the milk’ (‘se cree la leche’) can be translated as ‘he thinks he is all that’.

A toda leche (at full milk)

This essentially means ‘at a maximum level’. So ‘ir a toda leche’ means ‘to go really fast’, ‘trabajar a toda leche’ means ‘to work flat out’ and ‘hacer los deberes a toda leche’ means ‘to do your homework at top speed’.


La leche de (the milk of)

This means a lot of something. So ‘saber la leche’ about a given subject means to know a lot about it, while to be ‘la leche de listo’ means to be very clever, and ‘hace una leche de calor’ means that it’s extremely hot. This can also mean a lot of nothing, so ‘no sabe ni la leche’ translates as ‘he doesn’t know anything’.

De la leche (of the milk)

Similar to the above, this phrase is used as an intensifier. So ‘un dolor de la leche’ means a really strong pain and ‘una suerte de la leche’ means really good fortune.

¿Qué leches? (What milks?)

An expression of surprise, that could be translated as ‘what on earth?’ or the more vulgar ‘what the hell?’, depending on context. For example ‘¿Qué leches haces aquí?’ can be translated as ‘what on earth are you doing here?’ or ‘what the hell are you doing here?’ This structure also works with other questions such as ‘¿cuándo leches…?’ (‘when on earth?’) and ‘¿por qué leches?’ (‘why on earth?’).


¡Leches! (Milks!)

This exclamation can mean anything from shock, wonder or surprise to annoyance, and listeners are expected to understand depending on the situation. It can also be used in the singular, as Spaniards exclaim simply ‘¡leche!’ Milder than an expletive, in this context it can be translated as anything from ‘for heaven’s sake!’ to ‘goodness!’ to ‘well I never!’.

Toda esa leche (all that milk)

This phrase has a vague meaning, which can be roughly translated as ‘all that stuff’, ‘all that jazz’, or ‘all that kind of thing’, as in ‘tengo que comprar pan, agua y toda esa leche’ (‘I have to buy bread, water and all that kind of thing’).

Dar una leche (to give a milk)

To slap, hit, smack or punch someone. For example, ‘¡te voy a dar una leche!’ means ‘I am going to slap you!’


Darse una leche (to give oneself a milk)

When reflexive, this expression means to hurt oneself accidentally by bumping or crashing into something. For example, ‘Andrea resbaló por la calle y se dio una leche’ means that Andrea slipped and fell on the street, but ‘Andrea se dio una leche con el coche’ means she had a crash in her car.

Cagarse en la leche (to shit in the milk)

Spaniards idiomatically defecate on everything: from God to your mother to the salty sea, so it seems only fitting that milk should be included in this list. The expression is used to express anger and frustration, and it again harks back to breastfeeding (the original phrase meant ‘to shit in the milk that you were fed’).

This article was written by Elsha Maishman and first published in February 2017



Spain Suffers Ice Shortage – Olive Press News Spain




THE soaring cost of electricity is being blamed for an ice shortage across Spain as it suffers in the grip of the third heatwave of the summer.

Some supermarkets are rationing bags of ice to just two per customer as a demand outstrips supply.

Much of the ice sold during the summer comes from a stockpile built up during the first half of the year, but as energy prices soared with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, production stalled.

Then when an early heatwave hit in June, demand for ice shot up and supplies dwindled.  

“As it has not been possible to stabilize the costs to be able to sell the ice at the usual market price, the factories stopped production and it is now, in summer, when it is being noticed. The forecast is that in August there will be no ice,” Sergio del Moral, from the Tele Hielo distributor in Madrid, told La Vanguardia newspaper.

As a result the price of ice is also soaring and supermarkets are selling out. Some have been rationing sales by limiting purchases to two bags of ice per customer.

One tip to ensure you never run out is to produce your own ice in freezer trays at home and then store them up in a plastic bag for when you need large amounts if you’re planning a party.


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Food & Drink

Beach Bar In Spain’s Malaga Awarded ‘Best Chiringuito 2022’ By Prestigious Gastronomy Magazine – Olive Press News Spain




THE in vogue Tapas Magazine, a new format of gastronomy guide, together with the emblematic Aperol Spritz aperitif, has awarded the Best Chiringuito 2022 prize to a beach bar in Malaga.

The winner out of a list of the 25 best chiringuitos in Spain has been awarded to MariCarmen Casa Playa, a chiringuito located just 9 kilometres from Malaga City centre.

According to the gastronomic magazine; “MariCarmen Casa Playa, is a magical place difficult (not to say impossible) to forget.”

“Worries, haste, stress and bad vibes have no place there.” Tapas Magazine added.

Their cuisine fuses homemade and traditional dishes with – as they define it – ‘a touch of silliness’ often fusing typical Mediterranean dishes with Asian foods.

Among its star dishes are ‘MariCarmen’s special’ Russian salad with fried egg, scallops pil pil from Malaga with Parmesan au gratin, nigiris or uramakis.

Among the 25 classified establishments were three more from Malaga: Frida Pahlo (El Palo), Alma Playa (Rincon de la Victoria) and La Milla (Urbanizacion Los Verdiales, Marbella).

The Best Chiringuito 2022, MariCarmen Casa Playa, is located at Calle Escritor Alarcon Bonel, 2, in La Araña.


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How Sotogrande Has Greatly Improved It's Food Scene Over The Last Few Years – Olive Press News Spain




WHETHER you’re looking to see how the other half live or just looking for some decent food, Sotogrande has a lot to offer these days.

There are many good places to dine with a bustling vibe developing over recent years.

This is no surprise considering the wealthy clientele who frequent this privileged enclave, with many now staying open through the winter.

One of the biggest changes has been the development of the port area, in particular in Ribera del Marlin.

It’s a buzzing hive of activity on summer evenings with hundreds of punters fighting for the best waterside tables.

One of the best is superb Foodisiac, which has a distinct swagger about it and manages to be both stylish and cool in equal measures.

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Foodisiac restaurant in Sotogrande. Image from Foodisiac.

It has its own bakery and a large number of different coffees on offer, not to mention some delicious looking cakes and desserts.

The original mix of starters is perfect for a hot summer’s day.

Neighbouring Don Diego has an intriguing mix of Mediterranean dishes fused with Asian and South American cuisine.

Finally, the true godfather of the port Midas is still going strong after over 30 years.

Well established in the extreme, this is THE place for a business lunch or a dinner to impress, sitting right by the main port area.

Interested in Asiatic food, you might also want to try the emblematic La Finca, which sits next to La Casita campsite in San Roque and is another great find.

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Restaurant la Finca in Sotogrande. Image The Olive Press

In summer you sit around a leafy courtyard, a riot of colours and candles, while in winter you dine inside the authentic farmhouse with stone floors and fireplaces.

In the opposite direction, restaurant Mar Sana at the Milla de Plata hotel is a charming spot for an evening meal, heavy on fresh fish with its own speciality tuna menu. Just outside Torreguadiaro, it sits on a headland overlooking a rocky cove with views to die for.

For more casual chiringuito fare a little closer to the resort, head for wonderful Gigi’s Beach, ensconced on the edge of the marina by the sailing club.

The creation of Georgina ‘Gigi’ Taylor, her youthful, hard-working approach to style and taste makes this a surefire winner for local foodies and the international jetset alike.


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