Patatas bravas or papas bravas is a traditional dish of Madrid. It consists of white potatoes that have been cut
into 2 centimeter irregular shapes and then fried in oil and served warm with a
spicy tomato sauce. This dish is commonly served in restaurants and bars
throughout Spain, where it is traditionally accompanied by a shot of orujo or a
glass of wine.
Left: A plate of patatas bravas.
The potatoes are boiled in brine for several minutes to
tenderize them. They are then rubbed dry and fried in oil in a manner similar to
the preparation of potato chips.
Preparation of the accompanying sauce varies by city. In Burgos, the sauce is
tomato-based, and also includes vinegar, red pepper, and a variety of spices
which give it bite. This sauce also accompanies patatas alioli, a form of fried
potato prepared with mayonnaise and garlic.
In Valencia and Catalonia, the potatoes are covered in a sauce made of olive
oil, red pepper, paprika, and vinegar. In these areas, the dish is traditionally
served with a side of alioli.
Patatas bravas are served in bars in servings that contain
approximately a quarter kilo of potato. It is frequently consumed as part of
The dish can frequently be ordered with a number of extra toppings, the most
popular of which include chorizo, chistorra, baked chicken, and fried fish.
Another popular variation is the tortilla brava: a Spanish omelet topped with
the spicy sauce.