Found in Translation: the "Sobremesa" Habit


When we've had our fill from a well-made meal, we rest our stomachs by idly sitting with those we broke bread with, and the endless conversations ensue. For the Spanish people, this is a significant act, and they call it "sobremesa".

Credits: frenchyfyl

The word, when loosely translated, would mean "over the table", but its accurate relation is to mealtime. The Sobremesa website defined the word as the "time spent in conversation, digesting, relaxing, enjoying. Certainly not rushing. Not reserved for weekends — though it can be longest on Sundays — even weekday and business meals have sobremesa. For Spaniards, how we eat is as important as what we eat."

Credits: somapic, foodeanz & gracefinnie

The Spanish sobremesa includes not only conversation and relaxation but also emotional development as participants in the table become more engaged with each other after a good meal. This may happen between a group of friends, a family (immediate or extended), even with coworkers. On lax after-mealtime events, this would usually be followed up by a short siesta.

What does the sobremesa entail? It means not quickly billing out from a restaurant, or clearing up the table and cleaning dishes after a meal. Most of the time, especially of those who make habit of sobremesa, not taking the practice would be considered rude, especially among family members. It discourages opportunity to get to know people through menial small talk or long-winding conversations.

Credits: waluyo, marwin, juliankho & notalux

2018-04-14 #culture #sobremesa #found-in-translation


  1. paulawit
    paulawit ·

    In Portuguese it's Sobremesa, too :D

  2. crismiranda
    crismiranda ·

    @paulawit "sobremesa"in Brazilian Portuguese means "dessert", we don't have a specific word for the time spent around the table after a meal, do we?

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