EP word of the week (#53): tasca

In Portugal, a big part of a shared summer experience is done around food and drinks; our renowned cuisine meeting a variety of cold drinks to help everyone ease through the hot days.

[As] tascas are small restaurants selling traditional food for lunches and dinners together with snacks and beverages. They’re usually laid back places with an informal atmosphere – what you gain in relaxation and you may lose in sometimes poor or at least sloppy costumer service (not as a rule, but it happens sometimes, just like in any upscale/uptight place).

Here’s a typical menu of a Portuguese restaurant (not necessarily a tasca):


As you can tell from the photo above, restaurants and tascas are also a good place to see butchered Portuguese spellings (: Here, the errors are the following:

  • [o] bacalhau, not bacalhaú; the accent on u in the digraph au is only used when we break the diphthong/syllable (i.e. when a and u should be pronounced separately, e.g. [o] baúchest [type of box]; not when they’re pronounced together).
  • [o] arroz, not arrôz; a common mistake since most words ending in -oz have an open o ([a] noznut, walnutatrozatrocious; [a] fozmouth [of a river]) while arroz’s is closed (like words ending in -ôs[ele/ela] pôs, [he/she/it] put), but it’s a rule of the language that words ending with -z don’t carry a accent on the preceding vowel.
  • [as] omeletes, not omelétes; the accent here was supposed to stress the open e [] since there are words ending in -ete and -lete that have a closed e in that place ([o] coletevest[o] cavalete, easel[o] banquetebanquet); in any case, words ending in -te are never preceded by accented vowels.
  • I honestly hope that’s not the hint of an accent in [a] casa, which is one of the most common words in the language (in any language, really) and people have no excuse to misspell it.
  • Bonifácio, here as a family name (also used as personal name, albeit rarely nowadays), always carries an accent on the a.
  • The Portuguese fraction divider is always a comma, never a dot, so all prices should be divided by commas.



2 thoughts on “EP word of the week (#53): tasca

  1. Yuliya July 20, 2016 / 3:32 pm

    Obrigada, Luís! Podes explicar o que é o segundo prato? Não consegui encontrar as palavras no dicionário.


    • luisdomingos July 20, 2016 / 3:54 pm

      Olá, Yuliya! De nada, e claro que posso (of course I can!)

      “[a] Alheira” is a Portuguese enchido(which are all different kinds of cured sausage – minced meat from various animals stuffed into animal skin, usually from the gut/intestines). Alheiras are distinguished from other cured sausages by the fact that they’re usually stuffed with bread and with meats other than pork (unlike [o] chouriço or [a] linguiça, which mainly take pork); the most common iteration uses poultry, but in recent years chefs and foodies have developed different versions of this traditional dish, including vegetarian alheiras (with a different casing material, of course) and even alheiras made with bacalhau! Alheiras are usually fried in a pan and served with chips and a fried egg.

      Mirandela is a small city in northeastern Portugal famous for its alheiras; hence “alheira de Mirandela” (alheira coming from Mirandela, or alheira made the same way as it’s done in Mirandela).

      If you have any other doubts, please let me know! (:


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