Origin: Castilla La Mancha, Madrid
Patatas bravas is one of the most common Spanish tapas that you will find if you decide to visit Spain. They are sold in nearly every bar and are a great dish to share between friends and family, or even classmates from a Spanish language school. With regards to their history, we don't know exactly how long ago patatas bravas were created, however we do know it was after 1542, as Europe had no knowledge of this tuber until the Spanish conquered the Inca empire.
Though at first it was used as a ornamental plant, the famine that devastated Europe along with the Thirty Years' War made people creative out of need and potatoes began to be consumed.
Potatoes weren't exactly popular though, and when not at war people preferred to grow them for decorative reasons or to feed their animals rather than eat them themselves. Centuries later it has become one of the basic food products in Spain and many countries of Europe.
One of the reasons for the boom in the popularity of the potato is its low price and its versatility, it can be cooked in an infinite number of ways, served hot or cold and it's also very nutritious.
Patatas bravas are originally from Madrid, where it was created and patented. Potatoes are cut in irregular chunks of approximately 2 cm, fried and dressed in a spicy tomato sauce that is poured over the them and served very hot.
Patatas bravas' sauce is made with a base of tomato sauce, vinegar and chili, such as cayenne peppers, however other ingredients are used which are well guarded secrets by each cook who adds a special something to the recipe.
In Catalonia and Valencia the sauce is made of olive oil, chili, paprika and vinegar. The important thing is that it's spicy, in fact it's name "bravas" makes allusion to this. In the Spanish language, brava means fierce, ferocious, angry.
Patatas bravas are typically served in bars in many regions of Spain as tapas or "ración". It's considered one of the cheapest tapas due to its inexpensive ingredients. Should you ever visit Madrid, you'll absolutly have to taste patatas bravas !
Ingredients (four portions:
Patatas bravas are simple and cheap to make, and best of all, you can add any spice or herb to your taste, Spanish recipes are usually modified by each cook. They are excellent party food so if you are thinking of holding a Spanish themed party then why not make these for your guests. If you want to learn more about Spanish food, and how to make it, we recommend that you take a cooking course in Madrid!