In English, salsa, hot sauce, or other spicy foods are often classified as either mild (not very spicy), medium (moderately spicy), or hot (very spicy). Does Spanish have similar adjectives to describe the range of spiciness of food?

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    Even though the answer you selected works for any Spanish speaking country bare in mind that you will hear different ways of referring to the same thing since this will depend a lot of the region/city/country. Sep 21, 2012 at 17:42

4 Answers 4


This is a common way of speaking about spiciness

poco/ligeramente picante- mild

picante - medium

muy picante - hot

If something is not spicy or slightly spicy we would say it is "suave".


Suave, mediana, and muy picante would be understood, provided the context makes the reference to spiciness obvious. Example: one word on the label of a salsa jar, the sort of word that's red for hot, yellow for medium, and green for mild.


For years in South Texas my Mexican friends would say Muy Milo for very mild? I cannot find that referred to anywhere as a real word?

  • @DorothyHall: I would be careful with the use of this term since it might be (emphasis on "might") a "creation" of Mexicans living in the US. Another less likely possibility is that it may be used on a specific region of the country but I have never heard it, never in Mexico City where I'm from nor anywhere else and I did travel a lot within the country while I lived there. Sep 21, 2012 at 17:39
  • Not a word used in Mexico at least
    – spiral
    Dec 3, 2014 at 19:35

I would use:

leve - mild

medio - medium

muy picante - hot

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    I'd use "poco/ligeramente picante", "picante" and "muy picante". "leve" and "medio" are not natural ways for speaking about spiciness. If something is not spicy or slightly spicy we would say it is "suave".
    – Juanillo
    Feb 3, 2012 at 8:11
  • My native friend from Peru also suggested the translations I gave. Maybe a regional thing?
    – Kage
    Feb 3, 2012 at 11:41
  • I am with juanillo on this one: ligeramente picante, picante y muy picante are more appropriate than 'medio'. Medio sounds more like an americanization of the term.
    – Icarus
    Feb 4, 2012 at 16:48
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    @Juanillo: Feel free to post another answer with your suggestions so people can up/down vote those as well.
    – jrdioko
    Feb 4, 2012 at 16:58

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