Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Spanish food 101: Patatas bravas

Hello all! I've decided to do something hitherto never done on The Barcelona Story: attempt to write a post about a specific subject on a semi-consistent basis.  Most blogs I read are ever so organized about their blogging, devoting Monday to one topic, Tuesday to another, etc.  I, on the other hand,  prefer to ramble on and on about whatever thoughts I happen to be thinking at a particular moment.  Now, I can't promise you that I'll actually stick with this given that I'm a very spontaneous (and rather flaky) person, but I'll do my best!

Our new semi-consistent blog topic will revolve around Spanish food.  Since we arrived three weeks ago, we've been eating out most days of the week. This is not due to slack on our part! Mostly it's just because we didn't have electricity for a long time and we didn't want to resort to cooking over tealight candles (with one hilarious exception that I'll get to in another post!).  Because we've been eating out so much, we feel we've got a pretty good handle on some basic Spanish bar, cafe and restaurant foods so I thought I'd share a bit about these foods for your viewing pleasure.

In the photo above is one of the most ubiquitous Spanish foods, patatas bravas.  This translates loosely as "spicy, fried potatoes" and that's pretty much what it is.  The potatoes are normally cut into wedges or into these little cubes that look a bit like hash browns.  What makes them special is the sauce. They are normally served with a garlicky mayonnaise sauce (that's just the European thing--mayonnaise on french fries) or a spicy, red sauce or both.  I've seen them served with both sauces on the side, or both sauces zig-zagged across the plate, or both sauces whipped together to create a pale orange sauce that is then smothered over the potatoes (like in the photo above).  When done correctly, patatas bravas are a delicious appetizer.  When done incorrectly, they're basically sub-par french fries.  We've had them both ways :)  I would tell you where to get them but honestly you won't have any trouble finding them next time you come to Spain.  And, by the way, when will that be? :)

(Photo: The Road Forks)  


  1. We're aiming for June 12-June 19. :)

  2. could u by any chance convince your fave seller to part with the recipe?? mainly for the sauces, i guess, as the potatoes look pretty basic!