Intermediate Spanish Lesson 40 Describing how things taste or smell in Spanish Posted by on Oct 2, 2012 in Learning, Spanish Grammar, Spanish Vocabulary, Videos

In this intermediate Spanish lesson we will look at how to describe how things taste or smell in Spanish.

There are many ways to describe nice tastes or smells in Spanish, such as Huele fenomenal (It smells great) or Está muy bueno (It tastes very good) and there are also many ways to describe bad tastes or smells such as Huele mal (It smells bad) or Huele que apesta (It stinks).

We will also see how to describe things you like according to their flavours and smells and how to describe different tastes in Spanish such as Dulce (Sweet), Salado (Salty/Savoury) or Amargo (Bitter).

First, let’s start by looking at how to describe things that taste and smell good:

• (Me) huele bien/muy bien: It smells good/very good
• (Me) huele fenomenal: It smells great
• Huele a rosas: It smells great
• Huele que alimenta: It smells great (for food)
• (Me) sabe bien/muy bien: It tastes good/very good
• (Me) sabe fenomenal: It tastes great
• Está muy bueno: It tastes very good
• Está muy rico: It tastes very good

Next, let’s see how to describe things that taste or smell bad in Spanish:

• (Me) huele mal/muy mal: It smells bad/very bad
• (Me) huele fatal: It smells awful
• Huele a rayos: It smells very bad
• Huele de pena: It smells very bad
• Huele que apesta: It stinks
• (Me) sabe mal/muy mal: It tastes bad/very bad
• (Me) sabe fatal: It tastes disgusting
• Está muy malo: It tastes very bad

Now let’s see how to describe things you like according to their flavours and smells in Spanish:

• Me encanta: I love
• Me gusta: I like
• Me agrada: I like
• Tengo debilidad por + food: I have a weakness for
• El olor: The smell
• El sabor: The flavour
• Cómo huele: How it smells
• Cómo sabe: How it tastes
• Oler: To smell
• Saber: To taste
• Saborear: To savour/enjoy

• Me encanta cómo huelen las rosas: I love how roses smell
• Me gusta el sabor de las frutas tropicales: I like the flavour of tropical fruits
• Me agrada cómo sabe el café: I like how coffee tastes
• Me encanta saborear el chocolate: I love to savour chocolate
• Tengo debilidad por el helado: I have a weakness for ice cream
• Ni me gusta ni me disgusta: I neither like nor dislike it
• No me molesta: I don’t find it unpleasant
• Ni me gusta ni me disgusta la sopa: I neither like nor dislike soup
• No me molesta el olor a pescado: I don’t find the smell of fish unpleasant

Let’s now see how to describe things you dislike according to their flavours and smells:

• Odio: I hate
• No soporto: I can´t stand
• Me repugna: It disgusts me
• Me da asco: It makes me sick
• Me pone enfermo: It makes me feel ill
• Me desagrada: I dislike
• No soy muy amigo de/No soy fan de: I am not a fan of
• No me va mucho: I don’t really like
• No soporto el olor de las sardinas: I can’t stand the smell of sardines
• Me da asco cómo sabe la col: The taste of cabbage makes me sick
• Me pone enfermo oler a pescado en casa: Smelling fish in the house makes me feel ill

Finally, we are going to look at how to describe different tastes in Spanish:

Dulce: Sweet
• El chocolate es dulce: Chocolate is sweet
• Este pastel está muy dulce: This cake is very sweet (more than it should be)

Ácido: Sharp
• El limón es ácido: Lemon is sharp
• Hoy las naranjas están ácidas: Today the oranges are sharp (more than they should be)

Salado: Salty/Savoury
• El jamón serrano es salado: Serrano ham is salty
• Ese jamón está demasiado salado: That ham is too salty (more than it should be)

Soso: Bland/Not salty enough
• El queso fresco es soso: Cottage cheese is bland
• Esta sopa está sosa: This soup is bland (more than it should be)

Amargo: Bitter
• El pomelo es amargo: Grapefruit is bitter
• Este zumo está amargo: This juice is bitter (more than it should be)

Agrio: Sour
• La lima es agria: Lime is sour
• Estos arándanos están muy agrios: These cranberries are very sour (more than they should be)

Picante: Hot/Spicy
• La comida mejicana es picante: Mexican food is spicy
• Este curry está muy picante: This curry is very spicy (more than it should be)

Eating is one of my greatest passions and I think that I love talking about food almost as much as I love cooking and eating it. I love trying different foods from around the world and of course I love my own Spanish cuisine very much indeed.

Tortilla de patatas (Spanish Omellette) is one of my favourite dishes: “Para mi esta muy rica. Me encanta cómo huele y por supuesto cómo sabe”. I also love simple and healthy traditional Spanish dishes such as lentils, chick peas and beans cooked in the pressure cooker with various vegetables: “Son platos muy ricos, muy baratos y muy buenos para la salud”. I have to confess that I have a weakness for chocolate: “Tengo una gran debilidad por el chocolate. Me gusta mucho saborear el chocolate negro de mas or menos 70% de cacao, junto con café con leche”.

¡Que aproveche!

Y hasta la proxima clase de español.


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About the Author: Laura & Adam

Laura & Adam have been blogging and creating online Spanish courses for Transparent Language since 2010. Laura is from Bilbao in northern Spain and Adam is from Devon in the south of England. They lived together in Spain for over 10 years, where their 2 daughters were born, and now they live in Scotland. Both Laura & Adam qualified as foreign language teachers in 2004 and since have been teaching Spanish in Spain, the UK, and online.


  1. Katherine:

    Muy útil, gracias! Ahora no tengo miedo de comer en las casas de mis amigos 🙂